Report: Rob Pelinka surprising many around NBA with hesitancy to attach multiple draft picks in Russell Westbrook trade talks

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read

Despite Russell Westbrook being a trade candidate by the Los Angeles Lakers, some NBA insiders are surprised about Rob Pelinka’s reluctance to sweeten a potential deal.

Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times noted Westbrook’s uncertain status and indicated that Pelinka hasn’t been enthusiastic about dealing away multiple draft picks in any deal involving the guard.

“So far, that’s a road the Lakers haven’t seriously taken, Rob Pelinka surprising plenty of folks around the NBA with his hesitancy to attach multiple draft picks with Westbrook in trade talks,” Woike wrote.

Just one year ago, Westbrook’s arrival in a trade was seen as a key building block to a potential NBA title. Instead, chemistry concerns and injuries elsewhere caused the Lakers to miss the postseason entirely.

Even as the frustrating season went on, Westbrook was already being offered in a number of potential deals. None of those materialized, in part because of the massive salary being paid to the veteran.

In recent months, Pelinka and the Lakers have looked at a number of potential players who could be exchanged for Westbrook.

Among those guards being considered is Brooklyn Nets veteran Kyrie Irving, who previously teamed with Lakers superstar LeBron James to win an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

A key reason why Pelinka is not crazy about including multiple future draft picks is that the Lakers have so few available for in near future.

The Lakers gave up a number of prime draft picks in order to acquire Anthony Davis in 2019. With their veteran-heavy roster, Pelinka is obviously looking to have options available when it comes to replenishing the team’s roster.

When the 2022-23 NBA season officially starts later this year, Westbrook could very well still be on the team’s roster. Whether Pelinka decides to rethink his current approach in trade talks remains to be seen.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.