Lakers, Jazz Have Had Exploratory Talks About Westbrook

The Lakers and Jazz have had some exploratory discussions about a trade involving veteran point guard Russell Westbrook, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.

Although Westbrook has adjusted nicely to a sixth man role this season and hasn’t been cited as trade rumors nearly as often as he was during the offseason, he has “remained available” for trade, according to Haynes.

The recent acquisition of Rui Hachimura has given the Lakers a “renewed sense of confidence,” but there’s a belief within the organization that the club needs to make at least one more roster move before the February 9 trade deadline to give itself a real shot at contention, Haynes says.

It’s possible such a move could involve Westbrook, though Patrick Beverley remains a trade candidate as well. According to Haynes, the Lakers are in communication with many teams around the NBA as they consider the most favorable trade scenarios available to them.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the Lakers and Jazz having a conversation about Westbrook. The two teams reportedly engaged in discussions last offseason, with Los Angeles exploring a deal that would’ve sent Westbrook and draft assets to Utah in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic and others.

Bogdanovic was traded to Detroit instead, but the Jazz still have several veterans on eight-figure salaries who could appeal to L.A., including Mike Conley, Malik Beasley, and Jordan Clarkson. The Lakers also remain interested in Bogdanovic as they scour the market in search of outside shooting help, Haynes confirms, though there’s skepticism about whether the Pistons will actually move the veteran forward before the deadline.

Westbrook’s $47MM+ cap hit makes him a tricky player to move, but if the Lakers remain open to dealing him, there are other possibilities they could explore.

According to John Hollinger of The Athletic, one popular trade idea that has made the rounds as of late is Westbrook and the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to the Raptors for a package headlined by Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. However, Hollinger stresses that the Raptors/Westbrook proposal has been “fairly heavily trafficked in theory despite little evidence that it’s been discussed in reality.”

View Comments (21)