The options for the Los Angeles Lakers making a trade for Russell Westbrook have dwindled drastically since the Utah Jazz traded away Bojan Bogdanovic to the Detroit Pistons for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee. The Lakers were expected to pay a two-pick premium for Bogdanovic, who was ultimately traded for very little by the Jazz.
The Jazz's roster options make it unlikely for them to be attractive trading partners for the Lakers anymore, as Bojan was the best returning player the Lakers could get. This brings the San Antonio Spurs back into the equation after they were earlier linked to Russell Westbrook as a possible third team in a three-team deal for the Lakers to acquire Kyrie Irving.
LJ Ellis of Sports Illustrated believes that the Spurs remain interested in acquiring bad contracts in exchange for assets. With teams like Indiana and Utah doing the same, the Spurs have reduced their asking price to move players like Josh Richardson and Jakob Poeltl. Ellis believes the Spurs are still interested in making a deal with the Lakers for Westbrook.
According to a Western Conference scout, the Lakers are telling teams that they will take a wait and see approach to trading Westbrook as training camp approaches. If the Lakers decide to trade Westbrook at some point down the line, the Spurs remain one of the few teams in the league open to such a deal. (h/t Sports Illustrated)
Are The Spurs A Tempting Trade Partner?
With the Jazz sending out Bogdanovic and the Indiana Pacers announcing that Myles Turner will begin the season as the starting center, the options for the Lakers are looking slim. The Spurs might just be the best option as they can get a wing in Josh Richardson and a bruising center in Jakob Poeltl that'll allow Anthony Davis to comfortably play as the power forward.
The issue in this trade will be the Lakers needing to absorb Doug McDermott, who will be making $13 million next season. As discussed, the Lakers want to have open cap space next summer, so having the shooting big-man clog up salary cap space may be less than ideal.
At this point, it seems like the Lakers are set on heading into training camp with Russell Westbrook. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out and whether any other contending team swoops in to make a deal happen before the Lakers.