The Los Angeles Lakers have spent many of the summer season (unsuccessfully) attempting to commerce Russell Westbrook, and with coaching camp simply 10 days away, it seems on the very least doable they will not get something completed on that entrance. But as their deal choices and time to make a transfer with out shedding invaluable camp time dwindle, the actively tanking Utah Jazz stay one of many final standing, seemingly viable dumping grounds for the workforce’s highest-paid and least-desired participant.
The (tepid) excellent news for the Lakers, as they attempt to type out their immediately much more guard-heavy roster? It would appear that Utah continues to be open to a deal, on condition that each side have been speaking to one another, in keeping 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 been focused [Bojan] Bogdanović, Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley, in keeping with league sources. The Lakers’ need to land the Pacers’ Buddy Hield has additionally been well-chronicled, with the previous Kings guard virtually coming their means by way of commerce final summer season. The 29-year-old 3-point specialist has been a focus within the Lakers’ offseason talks with Indiana as nicely — alongside Myles Turner — however a deal just isn’t anticipated on that entrance.
A take care of 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 workforce’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 dimension and with these capabilities, he would fill a void on the wing the place the Lakers are at present so skinny that Austin Reaves (who was generously listed at 6’5, 206 lbs. final season) is their projected backup small ahead:
The lineup selections to return will likely 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 shopper and former Laker, he checks the containers this workforce usually tries to search for in its additions. He would additionally present some additional scoring punch for the workforce, though it is unclear how rather more of that they want from guards, even assuming that Westbrook can be heading to Utah for him.
When discussing any doable Beasley addition, it’s value noting that he pleaded responsible following a 2020 incident wherein he “is alleged to have aimed a rifle at a pair and their teenage daughter in an SUV exterior his Plymouth dwelling, the place a big stash of marijuana and different weapons had been seized by the police,” in keeping with The Minneapolis Star Tribune.
There is not any simple technique to transition from that acknowledgment, however there are additionally different, gossip-columny causes his addition may very well 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 package deal can 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 might argue virtually definitely not, and positively not in a vacuum. However, on condition that Utah reportedly solely desires to do a take care of the Lakers that nets them each picks, it might even be the workforce’s solely possibility in the event that they want to get off of Westbrook earlier than coaching camp. So we’ll see what occurs within the days and weeks to return and if both facet is prepared to budge.
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