Russell Westbrook trade: Lakers and Spurs are nearing an agreement?

Published Categorized as NBA
(Source: Wikipedia)

The Los Angeles Lakers have recently brought former MVP point guard Russell Westbrook off the bench, and it has been a good fit for the team. This almost did not happen, however, because trade talks between Los Angeles and another team were close.

Russell Westbrook is about to join the San Antonio Spurs?

Russell Westbrook trade
(Source: Wikipedia)

According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs discussed a trade involving Westbrook before the regular season began; however, Los Angeles was unwilling to remove first-round pick protections.

Los Angeles proposed trading Westbrook and a lottery-protected first-round pick to San Antonio in exchange for Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott.

The Spurs requested that the first-round pick be unprotected, but the Lakers refused.

The Lakers and Spurs were close to a trade for Westbrook, but it appeared to fall apart when Los Angeles refused to change its stance on the lottery-protected first-round pick.

Would Westbrook be available to the Spurs right now if the Lakers decided to remove the potential protections?

The answer may surprise you. San Antonio reportedly desired the unprotected first-round pick in exchange for taking on Westbrook’s salary with the expectation of waiving the former MVP.

The Lakers refused to change their offer, as Scotto stated in the article, and trade talks stalled. In fact, some executives believe Los Angeles will stick with Westbrook if his bench production remains at this level.

In 14 games this season, the point guard has averaged 15.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.7 assists while shooting 40.6% from the field and 33.3% from three-point range. Los Angeles could have acquired a duo that isn’t performing as well, but it could have been a better fit.

This season, Richardson and McDermott have the following stat lines.

  • Doug McDermott stats (2022): 9.6 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 1.2 APG, 45.5% field, 40.5% 3pt
  • Josh Richardson stats (2022): 10.2 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.0 APG, 40.4% field, 36.3% 3pt

Both players do not play as many minutes as Westbrook, so their statistics are lower when compared to his; however, they are better three-point shooters than him this season.

The Lakers are the league’s worst three-point shooting team, shooting 31.2%, so it would have been a welcome boost. The only disadvantage would have been that if Los Angeles had struggled during the season, it would have forfeited its unprotected first-round pick.

The trade came down to the pick’s protections, and it altered many narratives for the 2022-’23 season. The Spurs may have squandered an opportunity, but the Lakers made the correct decision.

Categorized as NBA