The Los Angeles Lakers are still trying to find a trade partner to deal Russell Westbrook, but right now, they're stuck with the former NBA MVP. Westbrook hasn't been able to find his rhythm with the Purple and Gold, struggling to get things going, looking lost on this team.
This situation has led fans to despise him and ask the front office to get rid of Westbrook, which they've reportedly tried to do with no success. But, this isn't the end of this situation, as the Lakers have several options to deal Russ and get a good package in return.
In recent hours, Sam Amico reported that the Lakers have offered Westbrook to at least five teams around the league, yet a deal hasn't gained any traction. Among these teams, the Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz appear to be the strongest candidates to do business with the Lakers and help them get rid of Westbrook.
Following the Donovan Mitchell trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Jazz still have a couple of veterans they'll try to deal before the start of next season, and the Lakers could take advantage of this.
Lakers Could Land Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic And Mike Conley In Exchange For Russell Westbrook
Jedd Pagaduan of Clutch Points recently proposed a series of trades the Jazz could make to get rid of these three players and keep adding young talent or draft picks. As usual, the Lakers were mentioned among these teams.
Jazz receive: Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn, the Lakers’ unprotected 2027 first-round pick and two second-round picks
Los Angeles Lakers receive: Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson
The Jazz appear to be the most likely destination for Westbrook should the Lakers decide to ditch the former MVP, but the Lakers don’t just want to dump Russ for the sake of dumping him. The Lakers have already balked at the idea of including two future unprotected first-round picks in a Westbrook trade.
In this trade, however, the Jazz and Lakers arrive at a compromise: the Lakers will take on the two year, $45 million contract of the aging Conley, who still might have something left on the tank, and in exchange, will only need to cough up one unprotected first-rounder. In addition, the Lakers will receive the scoring punch of Bogdanovic and Clarkson.
The Jazz, on the other hand, will take on Westbrook’s albatross of a contract, making him a prime candidate for a buyout, where Westbrook can seek employment from a team that would value his services more than the Lakers did.
This is a very interesting move that could help the Jazz in the future. They already have 15 first-round draft picks secured and could add more selections from the Lakers. Many believe they would buy out Westbrook's contract if this trade happens, so it'll be interesting to see how they deal with that.
The Lakers would be getting a known face in Clarkson, who couldn't thrive during his time with the team, another veteran point guard in Mike Conley, and a solid shooter like Bogdanovic. Just like the hypothetical trade with the Indiana Pacers would make them competitive again, this one could easily make them a solid playoff team.