NBA Rumors: Russell Westbrook Trade Discussed by Lakers, Jazz Before Bogdanović Deal | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors
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The Los Angeles Lakers are off to an 0-3 start and may need to make a trade before a second straight season slips away.
That could reportedly lead to more phone calls with the Utah Jazz.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Purple and Gold offered Utah a package that included Russell Westbrook, a future first-round pick and second-rounders in a potential trade that could have landed them Bojan Bogdanović, but the Jazz ultimately traded the forward to the Detroit Pistons.
Yet O’Connor reported the two teams could “resume talks later in the season with some combination of other players discussed” and pointed to Jordan Clarkson, Mike Conley and Rudy Gay as three possible options.
To say there should be concern in Los Angeles would be an understatement.
After all, this team is loaded with future Hall of Famers and didn’t even qualify for the play-in tournament last season. While the Lakers fired head coach Frank Vogel, they didn’t make many significant changes to the roster even after a summer of Westbrook trade rumors.
Westbrook struggled to adjust to a new role in his first season and isn’t the type of outside shooter who can consistently take advantage of the spacing created by playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
After shooting 29.8 percent from deep in 2021-22, he is shooting 28.9 percent from the field and 8.3 percent from three-point range through three games this season. He was even benched at the end of Sunday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Lakers as a team are shooting a league-worst 21.2 percent from beyond the arc in the early going in 2022-23, and James even recognized during a press conference that “we’re not a team constructed of great shooting.”
Bogdanović could have helped that considering he is a career 39.3 percent shooter from deep who connected on 50.0 percent of his looks in Detroit’s first three games this season.
Conley, Clarkson and Gay are all capable shooters who are better suited to playing next to a ball-dominant player like James. And the Jazz may be 3-0 in a surprise start, but they are also building toward the future after trading Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Bogdanović this offseason.
A quick start to the season likely won’t stop them from adding future draft picks in a deal with the Lakers if the right one presents itself.