NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers were at ‘one-yard line’ on dealing Russell Westbrook deal with Pacers

On the morning ahead of the Lakers performed their first preseason recreation, Jovan Buha, Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic made waves with a large file on the staff’s efforts to industry Russell Westbrook, together with in the past unreported main points on a couple of variations of offers that may have noticed them ship Westbrook to the Indiana Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield that in the long run haven’t long past via but… however in the long run may just at some level.

And even in a summer season the place Westbrook industry rumors hitting the web were about as uncommon as roaches in a hoarder’s space, this was once a large sufficient tale that even new head trainer Darvin Ham and Westbrook himself were requested about it. However, without equal conclusion of the thing was once that the Pacers — at least for now — haven’t budged on not easy either one of the Lakers’ tradeable long run first spherical choices (in 2027 and 2029) in any Westbrook deal. As a outcome, the 2 facets are at an deadlock.

But any such deal can have been even nearer than we discovered, as a result of all over an look on Jake Fischer’s “Please Don’t Aggregate This” podcast (sorry Jake), Jovan Buha clarified that the Lakers were virtually in a position to fulfill the Pacers’ asking worth, ahead of a past due pivot when now not everybody would agree that Turner and Hield were value it:

“To my wisdom and the information of [myself, Amick and Charania] as a gaggle, it was once at the one-yard line internally. There was once no formal request or succeed in out to the Pacers… There were a number of inner conferences about this at one level… There were a number of hours there the place we were listening to that it was once necessarily agreed upon internally that ‘we are going to propose this to Indiana. And all summer, in all of our iterations of trade talks with Indiana, their one ask has been we want both picks.’ And despite the fact that it was once Myles by way of himself or Buddy, it at all times got here again to they would like two choices for any Russ industry.

“So the Lakers, with that wisdom, were having that more or less inner combat of ‘is it worth going all in for this deal? Does it elevate us enough?’ And there was once some cut up between contributors of the important thing choice makers of ‘yes it’s value it,’ and ‘no it’s now not,’ however I believe quickly they got here to a consensus of ‘yes’ and that’s when there was once some degree all over the weekend the place I believed it was once a formality that this was once going to occur, however in the long run there was once some pushback at the one-yard line, they made up our minds that there was once now not a consensus, and it was once now not time to make that transfer.

“(But) there was definitely a point during the weekend when from what we were hearing it sounded like a done deal that they were going to make the offer. Obviously it was contingent on Indiana to accept the offer, but they had been telling the Lakers all summer that they were going to need two picks, and if the Lakers made that offer, I think they were confident that Indiana would have accepted it.”

And as shut because it appears like that supply was once to being made, the Lakers — once more, at least for now — appear to be projecting that they’re going to present this roster a couple of weeks to look what they are able to do and proceed to judge their choices.

Again, from Buha:

“As of now, their stance is ‘we want to see what Russ looks like, we want to see if we can make it work.’ And if it can’t, there’s always potentially the Indiana deal, but there’s also if a team like Chicago gets off to a rough start because of this Lonzo situation, is a DeMar DeRozan available? Is a Zach LaVine available? Is there another team that underachieves out the gate and 20, 25 games in already looks like they’re going to be a lottery team and maybe a disgruntled star becomes available? So I think the Lakers are looking more at ‘can we get a bigger chip, and can we get a better player than a Myles Turner or a Buddy Hield?’ Because I think they think that package will still be there most likely if they are willing to put the two picks on the table.”

The Lakers are almost definitely now not improper about that remaining section, however whilst we can most probably by no means get this data, it will be interesting to grasp who’s balloting for and who’s towards the deal. We know Rob Pelinka is doubtlessly GMing for his activity this 12 months, however he’s now not the one one being consulted right here. According to that very same Athletic file, those industry discussions have additionally concerned senior basketball consultant Kurt Rambis, staff governor Jeanie Buss, and her more youthful brothers, assistant GM Jesse Buss and vice chairman of analysis and analytics Joey Buss.

Again, nobody goes to definitively let us know what the balloting breakdown is between that team as a result of there most probably aren’t sufficient other people with an incentive to leak mentioned knowledge and make allowance journalists to substantiate with a couple of contributors of mentioned mind agree with. Still, it is going to be value staring at to look which aspect in the long run wins out in spite of everything because the 12 months progresses, and it’s spell binding to take into accounts who can be balloting “no,” and what their motivations for doing so can be.

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