The Los Angeles Lakers really want to acquire Kyrie Irving, but the Brooklyn Nets apparently don’t want Russell Westbrook in return.
A third team would be needed to acquire Westbrook, which would complicate a deal.
LA could opt to deal Westbrook in a different deal instead, and according to NBA insider Jake Fischer, the Utah Jazz could be a possible partner in such a trade.
Jake Fischer on what’s new with the Lakers: pic.twitter.com/CKcrSVO92B
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“Whether [Donovan] Mitchell is finally emotional, and the Jazz is just kind of a wasteland of young picks or young players and draft picks, there’s been more and more talk in the league about teams wondering if the Jazz would be a potential landing spot for the Lakers to send Russell Westbrook, where they could potentially pick up Patrick Beverley and other salaries,” Fischer said. “I’m not saying it was discussed. I’m not saying that’s likely to happen, but in theory if the Jazz in this rebuild, who just want picks, can get a pick or two from the Lakers to get an expiring contract and buy Russell Westbrook, that seems like a likely scenario. League people believe at least to be plausible.
The Lakers are rumored to be interested in Beverley, a veteran guard who could give them reliable 3-point shooting and exceptional offensive point defense on opposing ball handlers.
Obviously, due to Westbrook’s contract, which will earn him around $47 million this coming season, more players would have to be included by the Jazz to bring salaries in line with NBA rules.
Sending him to Utah for two or three complementary players would be a huge disappointment for Lakers fans after all the Irving rumors that have been circulating for the past few weeks.
Hypothetically, the Jazz could also get involved as a third team in an Irving trade to absorb Westbrook, but there’s no indication if they’d be willing to do so.
LA is in dire straits, as most believe keeping Westbrook would prevent him from becoming a championship contender again.
Also, LeBron James is entering the final year of his contract, and there’s a chance he won’t sign an extension unless the Lakers make a big move, like landing Irving.