Pacific Notes: Lakers, Westbrook, Randle, Suns, Curry

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Now that Kyrie Irving is reportedly off the table for the Lakers, Jovan Buha of The Athletic breaks down the team’s other potential options for dealing Russell Westbrook.

As Buha writes, a trade with the Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield makes sense for the Lakers, but they’d likely have to include both their 2027 and 2029 first-rounders to make that happen, which hasn’t transpired to this point. Buha wonders if Indiana would be interested in the move if the Lakers put protections on the ’29 pick or perhaps include a pick swap instead.

Turner and Hield would instantly become the Lakers’ “third- and fourth-best players on the roster, upgrading the starting lineup, depth and collective shooting,” Buha states, adding that Turner would complement Anthony Davis in the frontcourt due to his defensive versatility and ability to space the floor (.349 career 3PT%).

The Lakers could also get involved as a third team in a potential Donovan Mitchell trade, or target Jazz veterans like Bojan Bogdanovic, Patrick Beverley, Jordan Clarkson and Jarred Vanderbilt, Buha notes.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • Within the same piece, Buha says the Lakers aren’t interested in a potential reunion with Knicks forward Julius Randle, whom the team drafted No. 7 overall in 2014, due to his long-term contract and “less-than-ideal fit” with Davis and LeBron James. According to Buha, New York, Charlotte and San Antonio are all unlikely trade partners for Westbrook for various reasons, even though the three teams theoretically make some sense.
  • With Kevin Durant said to be sticking with the Nets, at least for now, a trio of Suns players whose names were floated in trade talks for the star have a big opportunity entering 2022/23, per Greg Moore of The Arizona Republic. Moore thinks Mikal Bridges likely won’t be affected by the rumors, but wonders if Cameron Johnson and Deandre Ayton should have bigger offensive roles next season to improve the team’s versatility as Phoenix looks to win its first championship.
  • Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area details why Warriors star Stephen Curry, the reigning Finals MVP, is underpaid despite having the largest salary in the league in ’22/23 ($48.1MM). Golden State’s franchise valuation has increased a little more than 12-fold over the past 12 years ($450MM to $5.6B), the team is immensely popular both locally and nationally, and the Warriors have won the championship four times in the past eight years largely due to Curry’s impact, making him worth more than double his current contract, according to Poole.



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