The LA Lakers have been involved in several trade talks in an attempt to ship off Russell Westbrook. However, Brian Windhorst revealed that they were never frontrunners in a three-way deal involving the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz.
The New York Knicks were reportedly favorites to land Donovan Mitchell. However, they needed a third team to pull off the deal. The Lakers have been active in the market since the start of free agency. They tried to trade Westbrook for Kyrie Irving, but the Brooklyn Nets declined.
On “The Hoop Collective,” the panel discussed the state of the Lakers and if Westbrook is on his way out. Windhorst stated that his sources revealed that the Lakers have temporarily shut down the idea of trading Russ. He said:
“Based on the executives I’m talking to, they believe that the Lakers have come to the conclusion that they are not going to trade Westbrook now because they don’t like any of their offers and they’re going to try to make the best of it and see what happens. That’s what the executives think.”
With the Knicks not finding a third partner, Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Westbrook is likely to play the final year of his contract with the Lakers.
“We have talked about potential Westbrook trades. We talked about a trade that they could make with the Jazz, for example. By the way, from what I am told, while it would make sense for the Knicks to have done a three-way deal with the Jazz and Lakers, I am told that was never part of the talks.
“That there were three-team constructions between the Jazz and Knicks for Donovan Mitchell where players would go to a third team, I mean obviously they didn’t do a deal, but the Lakers were never directly involved with that. I don’t think the Lakers believe right now there’s a Westbrook trade that they have, even with their picks, that elevates them”.
Are the LA Lakers formidable enough to contend for the 2023 championship?
With LeBron James, the Lakers have a chance to compete for the 2023 NBA championship. However, staying healthy is a big part of whatever success the Lakers hope to have next season. Given the makeup of their squad, the Lakers do not look like they can make some noise next season.
The Western Conference will be more competitive this year as key players have returned from injury. The Denver Nuggets will have Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. back from injury, while Kawhi Leonard is also set to return for the Clippers after tearing his ACL in 2021.
Anthony Davis will lead the line for the Lakers as the team has suggested that their offense will flow through him. It will be very difficult, but the Lakers can put together another championship campaign if AD and James stay healthy.