Lakers insider declares that a Russell Westbrook trade is ‘probably off the table at this point’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers insider Jovan Buha believes that a Russell Westbrook trade is “probably off the table” for the team at this point in the 2022-23 season.

“From my understanding, I think a Russ trade is probably off the table at this point,” Buha said. “I think the one exception would be – in most scenarios, they would have to attach two picks.”

It makes sense that the Lakers wouldn’t want to attach their unprotected first-round picks in the 2027 and 2029 NBA drafts to get off of Westbrook’s deal with Anthony Davis dealing with a foot injury.

Davis could miss significant time with the injury, and it may doom the Lakers playoff hopes regardless of whether or not they make a deal.

“I think at this point, the only way they would do that, trade him, would be one pick or no picks, and at this point that’s just not out there,” Buha said.

Westbrook is in the final season of his contract, but he has a massive salary that would likely force the Lakers to move draft capital in order to get any valuable players in return for him.

The former MVP has played much better since moving to a bench role this season, and the Lakers need him right now with Davis sidelined.

Westbrook is averaging 14.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game while shooting 40.0 percent from the field and 27.1 percent from beyond the arc in the 2022-23 season.

Los Angeles would love to improve the roster around LeBron James, but it seems the team isn’t willing to part ways with two of its best draft assets to make a minor improvement.

Buha did mention that it’s possible Westbrook could be dealt closer to this season’s trade deadline if a team is looking to shed salary, but right now that doesn’t appear to be an option for Los Angeles.

The Lakers are currently 13-18 and are in the No. 13 spot in the Western Conference. The team has struggled without Davis this season, winning just two of the six games that he has missed.

Even though Westbrook hasn’t been a perfect fit alongside James, he may be the Lakers’ best option right now to compete without having to sacrifice major assets.

It will be interesting to see how Davis’ injury changes the Lakers’ plan to compete for the rest of the 2022-23 season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.