Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook has looked like a brand new player since being moved to the bench several games ago.
The veteran has given his squad a real boost, and he’s one of the biggest reasons why the Lakers aren’t still winless this season.
Unfortunately, the Lakers need shooting in the worst way, and in order to address that issue, Westbrook presumably could still be traded.
One report indicates that Los Angeles has targeted Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott in a trade that would send Westbrook to the San Antonio Spurs. However, it doesn’t sound like L.A. is willing to part with much draft capital in such a deal, so talks haven’t gained traction.
“According to a source, the Los Angeles Lakers have targeted Richardson and McDermott in a trade that would involve Russell Westbrook,” wrote LJ Ellis of SpursTalk. “However, talks haven’t gained traction because the Lakers are only willing to relinquish a pair of second round picks in return for both players.”
It Westbrook were to be traded to the Spurs, it doesn’t sound like the team would keep him around.
“If the Spurs do land Westbrook in a trade, the source says the Spurs would buy out his contract and allow him to become a free agent,” wrote Ellis.
So far this season, Richardson is averaging 10.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. More importantly, he’s shooting 41.9 percent from beyond the arc, which is the type of shooting that the Lakers desperately need. He also shot 41.5 percent from deep last season.
McDermott is also an impressive shooter. This season, he’s averaging 10.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 43.1 percent from 3-point range. The 30-year-old has a strong track record when it comes to 3-pointers, as he’s a career 41.0 percent shooter in that department.
Both players would bring a lot to the table for the Lakers, but as things stand now, it doesn’t seem likely that L.A. will acquire them.
As for Westbrook, he’s averaging 18.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game on 50.0 percent shooting from the field and 45.5 percent shooting from deep since being moved to the bench. He’s certainly doing his part for the Lakers in his new role.