The Los Angeles Lakers have spent a lot of the summer season (unsuccessfully) attempting to commerce Russell Westbrook, and with coaching camp simply 10 days away, it seems on the very least potential they will not get something finished on that entrance. But as their deal choices and time to make a transfer with out shedding worthwhile camp time dwindle, the actively tanking Utah Jazz stay one of many final standing, seemingly viable dumping grounds for the crew’s highest-paid and least-desired participant.
The (tepid) excellent news for the Lakers, as they attempt to type out their out of the blue much more guard-heavy roster? It would appear that Utah remains to be open to a deal, provided that each side have been speaking to one another, in line with the most recent reporting from Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic (emphasis mine):
In current conversations with the Jazz, the Lakers have focused [Bojan] Bogdanović, Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley, in line with league sources. The Lakers’ want to land the Pacers’ Buddy Hield has additionally been well-chronicled, with the previous Kings guard virtually coming their approach through commerce final summer season. The 29-year-old 3-point specialist has been a focus within the Lakers’ offseason talks with Indiana as effectively — alongside Myles Turner — however a deal just isn’t anticipated on that entrance.
A cope with Indiana appears unlikely is not an enormous shock at this level, given how little noise there was on that entrance in current weeks.
But the crew’s curiosity in Bogdanović additionally makes a ton of sense, as he’s a 6’8 ahead who’s a profession 39.2% 3-point shooter. At that measurement and with these capabilities, he would fill a void on the wing the place the Lakers are presently so skinny that Austin Reaves (who was generously listed at 6’5, 206 lbs. final season) is their projected backup small ahead:
The lineup choices to return can be Darvin Ham’s, league sources say, however because it stands on Sept. 16: The Lakers head to coaching camp viewing Westbrook and Schroder as lead guards, PatBev as one other 2-guard alongside Kendrick Nunn and Austin Reaves as a 3 behind LeBron James. https://t.co/sTQx9kE6ur
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) September 16, 2022
As for Clarkson, as each a Klutch Sports consumer and former Laker, he checks the containers this crew typically tries to search for in its additions. He would additionally present some further scoring punch for the crew, though it is unclear how rather more of that they want from guards, even assuming that Westbrook could be heading to Utah for him.
When discussing any potential Beasley addition, it’s value noting that he pleaded responsible following a 2020 incident by which he “is alleged to have aimed a rifle at a pair and their teenage daughter in an SUV exterior his Plymouth residence, the place a big stash of marijuana and different weapons had been seized by police,” in line with The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
There isn’t any straightforward method to transition from that acknowledgment, however there are additionally different, gossip-columny causes his addition might be awkward within the locker room for Lakers two-way participant Scotty Pippen Jr., for no matter that is value.
All that is to say that total, even when solely judging on the basketball entrance, this commerce bundle could be imperfect. Still, the Lakers are previous the purpose in the summertime — and of their relationship with Westbrook, and in his worth as an NBA participant — the place good choices can be found.
But is that this deal value each their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks? I’d argue virtually definitely not, and undoubtedly not in a vacuum. However, provided that Utah reportedly solely needs to do a cope with the Lakers that nets them each picks, it might even be the crew’s solely possibility in the event that they want to do away with Westbrook earlier than coaching camp. So we’ll see what occurs within the days and weeks to return and if both aspect is keen to budge.
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