Lakers Notes: Westbrook, Possible Trade Partners, Shooting

Count Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer among the NBA analysts who believe the Lakers should be feeling some urgency to find a trade involving Russell Westbrook sooner rather than later. O’Connor opens his latest article by dubbing the former MVP a “washed-up bricklayer,” contending that the Lakers need to trade him immediately to have any chance of salvaging their season.

[RELATED: Woj: Don’t expect any Lakers trades before Thanksgiving]

While the much-discussed Pacers package of Myles Turner and Buddy Hield could certainly be one the Lakers revisit if and when they reengage in trade talks, O’Connor points to the Jazz a potential trade partner to watch.

League sources tell The Ringer that before Bojan Bogdanovic was traded to Detroit, the Lakers offered Westbrook, a future first-round pick, and second-rounders to Utah in exchange for Bogdanovic and others. O’Connor adds that sources expect the two teams to reopen their trade discussions at some point, since the Jazz still have veterans who could help the Lakers, such as Jordan Clarkson, Mike Conley, and/or Rudy Gay.

As O’Connor notes, the Hornets were viewed back in the spring as a possible trade partner for the Lakers and Westbrook, but that was when Charlotte was preparing to make a lucrative offer to Miles Bridges and was motivated to move off some multiyear salary. With Bridges’ NBA future up in the air due to domestic violence allegations, dumping long-term salary may no longer be a priority for the Hornets.

Here’s more on the Lakers and Westbrook:

  • The Lakers’ offense lost its rhythm late in Sunday’s loss to Portland when Westbrook checked back into the game, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report and Jovan Buha of The Athletic, who both argue that the team needs to seriously consider taking the point guard out of its closing lineup going forward.
  • Westbrook was pulled for the final few possessions on Sunday, shortly after he took an ill-advised jumper early in the shot clock with the Lakers up by a point and just under 30 seconds left in the game. After the game, head coach Darvin Ham said he isn’t worried about how Westbrook will respond to being benched for the game’s final 12 seconds. “We don’t have time for feelings or people being in their feelings. Like, we’re trying to turn this thing around,” Ham said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “For one person to be in their feelings about when and where and how they should be in the game, I don’t have any time for that.”
  • Anthony Davis was “visibly frustrated” after Sunday’s loss, according to McMenamin. “There’s no way we’re supposed to lose this game,” Davis said. “That’s where my frustration comes from.”
  • The Lakers’ three-point shooting remained an issue on Sunday, as Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times writes in his takeaways from the game. The club’s 6-of-33 (18.2%) mark from beyond the arc on Sunday was its worst single-game rate yet. Through three games, the Lakers’ 21.2% three-point percentage is easily the worst in the NBA — Chicago is second-worst at 29.3%.
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