The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly engaged in trade talks with the Indiana Pacers this week.
However, the Pacers reportedly insisted on receiving two unprotected first-round picks in a take care of the Lakers, which isn’t interesting to them, in line with NBA insider Shams Charania.
“I’m instructed the Lakers and Pacers did interact in some trade conversations this week and the Pacers’ demand for 2 unprotected first-round picks … is simply not interesting for the Lakers.”
— The Rally (@TheRally) September 21, 2022
Presumably, a take care of the Pacers would contain Los Angeles shifting Russell Westbrook’s contract in change for gamers reminiscent of Buddy Hield and Myles Turner. Westbrook is owed north of $47 million after opting into his participant possibility.
Westbrook’s wage creates an issue for the Lakers, as it may be exhausting for the staff to discover a franchise that can willingly take him on with out getting draft capital in return. If the Lakers additionally need to get gamers that may contribute in the 2022-23 season again, they may possible want to surrender extra draft picks.
The Lakers and Rob Pelinka basically should resolve whether or not or not a mixture of Turner and Hield is value sacrificing a number of years with out a first-round decide, understanding that these years won’t have LeBron James in uniform.
If Los Angeles is unwilling to run that danger, then it makes extra sense for the Lakers to simply preserve Westbrook on the roster and hope he can enhance in the 2022-23 season.
Westbrook, a nine-time All-Star, completed the 2021-22 season averaging 18.5 factors, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per recreation whereas capturing 44.4 % from the sector and 29.8 % from past the arc.
New Lakers head coach Darvin Ham may attempt to carve out a brand new position for Westbrook, however the staff has added a number of guards this offseason, together with Dennis Schroder, Patrick Beverley and Lonnie Walker IV, that would crowd the rotation.
If the Pacers resolve to maintain Turner and probably Hield into the common season, the Lakers may at all times revisit trade talks forward of the league’s trade deadline.
However, after lacking the playoffs final season, it is exhausting for the Lakers to justify buying and selling two first-round picks to get Hield and Turner when there is no such thing as a assure that the deal makes them a championship contender.