Lakers Insider Links Four Potential Teams as Russell Westbrook Trade Partners

The Athletic’s Jovan Buha notes four teams that could be involved in a three-team trade involving Lakers guard Russell Westbrook.

The Lakers have had their eye on Nets guard Kyrie Irving for the better part of a month at this point, but a trade between the two teams still has yet to materialize for two main reasons. For one, the Nets don’t want Russell Westbrook on the roster and the guard, and his $47.1M salary, would have to be included in the deal due to cap implications since Kyrie is owed $36.9M this coming season.

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The other key factor is the Lakers unwillingness to deal both their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to the Nets in a potential Westbrook-Irving deal. Brooklyn reportedly would also want to send three-point gunner Joe Harris, who’s owed over $37M and has two years left on his deal.

All of that adds up to the Lakers needing a third team to get involved to redirect Westbrook elsewhere, and hopefully just cough up one of their future firsts, instead of both, in a potential three-team deal.

The Athletic’s Jovan Buha highlighted four teams that could be used as a proverbial dumping ground for Russell Westbrook.

“The Nets aren’t interested in taking back Westbrook’s contract, which means the Lakers would have to include a third team – with the Pacers, Spurs, Jazz and Knicks as possible options — to accept Westbrook in a salary dump.”

The Lakers beat writer also didn’t rule out the Lakers including both first-round picks before the February trade deadline.

“Then, there’s the matter of draft picks. The Nets’ initial ask was for two first-round picks. The Lakers haven’t been willing to give up more than one in any trade negotiations. I think that will change for the right deal, such as an Irving trade. But the Lakers aren’t going to budge, if they even do, until they feel like they must. They’re not at that point yet.”

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