The LA Lakers will reportedly search aggressively for a trade partner for Russell Westbrook. They are rumored to be looking at training camp as the deadline to move the former MVP.
The Indiana Pacers checked on the Lakers for a trade that would send Myles Turner and Buddy Hield to Lakerland. Indiana supposedly wanted Westbrook’s expiring contract, Talen Horton-Tucker and the LA’s two future first-round picks.
LA Lakers head coach Darvin Ham is starting to lay the foundation for a partnership between Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley. Both players have also reportedly been in contact days after the trade for Beverley became official.
Here are the latest rumors involving the LA Lakers as of Aug. 31, 2022:
The LA Lakers will aggressively shop Russell Westbrook before training camp starts
The speculations regarding Russell Westbrook’s future with the LA Lakers continue to drop. Jovan Buha of The Athletic was on the HoopsHype podcast to share his thoughts on what LA is planning for the former MVP:
“I think they are going to ramp it up [trade talks] before training camp and get more aggressive from what I’ve been told, but whether that aggression includes giving up two future first-round picks, I still like they’re going to fight to try to keep that second first-round pick.”
The arrival of Patrick Beverley via trade with the Utah Jazz has opened the door for the LA Lakers to create a more balanced roster. Beverley could take on the role that nine-time All-Star Westbrook refused to do last season.
Should the Lakers be able to pull off a deal for the Indiana Pacers’ duo of Hield and Turner, they’ll have a better team than they do now.
Moving Westbrook before training camp begins looks to be the most sensible thing for the Lakers to do. They may not want to add more tension to a lineup that already has LeBron James and Westbrook ignoring each other.
Lakers could have had Myles Turner and Buddy Hield instead of Patrick Beverley
Buddy Hield and Myles Turner have been the names consistently linked to the LA Lakers this offseason. They were supposedly LA’s backup plan if they could not pry Kyrie Irving out of the Brooklyn Nets.
LA, instead, moved one of their most attractive trading chips in Talen Horton-Tucker for Patrick Beverley. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype has a juicy rumor on this front:
“One note that’s interesting is before the Lakers traded Talen Horton-Tucker to Utah in the Patrick Beverley trade, the Pacers were trying to get Horton-Tucker, I’m told.”
Together with THT, Indiana could've gotten Russell Westbrook’s expiring contract and the Lakers’ two future first-round picks. In return, LA would have reportedly received Turner, Hield and Daniel Theis. Scotto continued:
“The Lakers weren’t trying to essentially part with THT for Theis in that expanded trade package discussion after already having reservations about moving two first-round picks to get off Westbrook’s contract.
“In talking with people around the league, anybody that’s taking on Westbrook wants both of those first-round picks.”
After losing the player the Pacers were interested in, LA may not get Turner and Hield without giving up those coveted picks or taking Theis contract.
Darvin Ham is building the foundation for the LA Lakers backcourt featuring Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley
The LA Lakers’ plan to partner Russell Westbrook with bitter rival Patrick Beverley may have some hope after all. New head coach Darvin Ham could have something brewing on his hands if both players buy into the team’s strategy for next season.
Marc Stein’s Substack report had intriguing news on the status of the new teammates and Ham’s plan for them:
“Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley have already been in contact since becoming Lakers teammates, league sources tell me, and new coach Darvin Ham has told them he has lineups in mind to play Russ and PatBev side-by-side.”
Under normal circumstances, Beverley and Westbrook should have no issues playing together. The former has never been ball-dominant and has always played with exceptional playmakers like James Harden.
However, nothing is quite normal between the two, who have been involved in a nasty feud for close to a decade. But if they’ve started to connect and deal with things professionally, the LA Lakers may have something good to work with.
Darvin Ham’s starting unit could feature LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley and Austin Reaves. Beverley’s role could be what Avery Bradley used to do for the Purple and Gold.