The Los Angeles Lakers have gotten off to a rough start this season. Although the team’s struggles aren’t exactly unexpected, the degree to which they are doing poorly is startling.
Russell Westbrook is already getting into scary confrontations with Laker fans.
His teammate already hate him.
There are already accusations that he is deliberating doing things to hurt the Lakers because of his own frustrations.
It’s a bad scene.
This week, Shams Charania of The Athletic highlighted three teams that have emerged as legit trade partners for the Lakers on the Westbrook front.
The first is the Indiana Pacers.
“The Lakers and Pacers extensively discussed a potential deal sending Myles Turner and Buddy Hield to L.A. during the offseason,” he wrote.
“The Lakers and Pacers discussed several packages, but Indiana’s demand for both of the Lakers’ first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 prevented a deal from coming to fruition. Turner suffered an ankle sprain during warmups before the Pacers’ season opener last Wednesday, but is expected to return soon.”
The Charlotte Hornets are also an option.
“Charlotte’s Terry Rozier emerged as a trade target for the Lakers in the offseason and their interest in him remains high,” Charania continued.
“The Lakers and Hornets held discussions about a possible three- or four-team trade during the summer, and hold him in high regard among their possible trade possibilities.”
And finally, there are the San Antonio Spurs.
“The Lakers have also held preliminary discussions with the Spurs in recent weeks, sources said, showing interest in three-and-D wing Josh Richardson,” Charania noted.
“… expect the Lakers to continue to keep tabs with the Spurs, Hornets and Pacers as a potential trade partner as the season wears on.”
Given the Spurs’ key role in botching a trade that would have brought Kyrie Irving to L.A., it’s hard to see Gregg Popovich trying to lend a helping hand to the Lakers here. He takes extreme delight in screwing the Lakers when given the opportunity.
Beyond that, it’s hard to see the Hornets dealing Rozier if their season is going well. And at the moment, they’re 2-1. Unless the wheels fall off, they will likely just remain pat unless someone agrees to take Gordon Hayward off their hands.
The Pacers make the most sense, but Turner’s pending free agency coupled with the heavy draft capital price they are demanding makes working out a deal tough.
That said – the Lakers need to do something. They either need to trade for pieces that will better compliment the team’s two best players, or they need to trade their two best players and start anew.
Ja Morant is having himself quite the season. https://t.co/hObThQ4ou4
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 25, 2022
But this current in-between thing isn’t working for anyone.
Which path will the Lakers ultimately opt to take?
Time will tell.