According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi, the Spurs could take on Westbrook’s contract into their cap space to help facilitate a deal between the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets that lands Kyrie Irving in Los Angeles.
This would be a best-case scenario for the Lakers, but they would likely need to part ways with some draft capital in order to get the Spurs to take on Westbrook’s deal.
Woj: "A team like the Spurs could be a facilitator in a Westbrook/Kyrie deal. You'd have to incentivize them at a pretty high level. That unwillingness of the Lakers to incentivize w/ multiple picks is still part of the reason that hasn't gone anywhere yet. That could change." pic.twitter.com/Q4KnENuRrt
— Josh Paredes (@Josh810) July 6, 2022
The Spurs seem destined for a rebuild in the 2022-23 season after they traded star guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks.
If they decide that they want to gain more assets for the future, it could make sense to eat Westbrook’s deal for one season. Westbrook opted into his player option for the 2022-23 campaign earlier this offseason.
The Lakers have been linked to Irving for quite some time in the trade market. The Nets are going to try to maximize their return for Irving, and taking Westbrook’s contract doesn’t exactly help the team build a winner in the 2022-23 season.
Last season, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 29.8 percent from beyond the arc.
The Lakers would be much better off basketball wise with Irving, who can stretch the floor and score the ball much more efficiently alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
San Antonio could use its cap space to sign free agents of its own, so the Lakers may need to act quickly if they want the Spurs to help complete a trade.