As the 2022-23 NBA season inches nearer, individuals across the league are nonetheless attempting to determine what the Los Angeles Lakers’ plans are relating to former MVP Russell Westbrook.
At occasions this offseason, a trade sending Westbrook to an opposing group has appeared imminent. However, no such deal has but taken place. For the time being, the 2 most certainly trade companions appear to be the Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers.
However, an NBA executive just lately introduced up one other group that could possibly be an choice for the Lakers as a trade companion: the Detroit Pistons.
The exec spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy.com to interrupt down the potential transfer.
“I’d be prepared to become involved if I had been the Pistons,” the executive mentioned. “I would love that 2027 choose unprotected, and take again Russell Westbrook and ship you all my veterans, all my junk. Right now, Detroit is taking the method of simply ready, enjoying with the blokes they bought from there [New York] Knicks, and buying and selling throughout the season. That group must tank some extra, they want [Victor] Wembanyama, or not less than they have to be within the combine.”
The executive then broke down a few of the gamers the Pistons might ship in alternate for Westbrook.
“Send again Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel and [Kelly] Olynyk and Kemba [Walker]. The Lakers can be doing a 1-for-4 deal there, so that they’d have to maneuver guys round. … You have some tradeable contracts, and you’ve gotten some veterans you need to use for depth. I’d take into account it on each side.”
The deal would work from a monetary standpoint.
At first look, it is exhausting to think about how any of those gamers can be main contributors to a championship-winning squad. While a championship could appear not possible for the Lakers this season, that’s nonetheless the objective.
Still, it’s not as if the deal would not assist the Lakers in any respect. First off, they’d be getting Westbrook off the group, which might doubtlessly enhance morale inside the locker room. Aside from that, it is not as if the gamers they’d be buying do not include strengths.
Burks averaged 11.7 factors and 4.9 rebounds per recreation final season. He’s a stable and versatile wing that may additionally stretch the ground together with his taking pictures capability.
Noel is a stout defender, and whereas his numbers do not leap off the stat sheet, he could possibly be a significant defensive addition alongside Anthony Davis within the frontcourt. Olynyk is a hustle participant who averaged 9.1 factors, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per recreation final season.
As for Walker, he was as soon as a star however has taken many steps backwards since his physique started to seemingly fall other than the wear and tear and tear of his profession. Still, if he can keep wholesome, he might function a possible competitor for the start line guard place.
With that in thoughts, Walker is presently seen as a buyout candidate for the Pistons. It had been beforehand reported that the 2 sides had been finalizing a buyout.
Four-time All-Star guard Kemba Walker and the Detroit Pistons are finalizing a contract buyout, sources inform ESPN. Once Walker clears waivers, he’ll be a part of free company.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2022
However, Walker has not been formally purchased out of his contract but. According to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic, it’s extremely doable that issues have not been finalized as a result of Walker is likely to be uncertain “that he can signal with one other group and make up a few of the cash he gave again.”
As for the Pistons, it is not totally clear why Westbrook can be an attractive addition, and the Lakers’ 2027 first-round choose might not be sufficient to get them to chew.
The Pistons are a younger and rebuilding group, and they’ve Cade Cunningham as their level guard of the long run. Getting Westbrook within the combine might do extra hurt than good for the younger skilled.
Still, it appears the Pistons could also be a group to keep watch over going ahead because the Lakers proceed to attempt to discover a trade companion for Westbrook.