The Los Angeles Lakers cannot go into the 2022-23 season with Russell Westbrook on the roster. Darvin Ham can dress it up however he wants, this team is not going to contend with Westbrook on the roster. He actively makes the team worse.
Thus, trading Westbrook is the Lakers’ no. 1 priority before the season begins and there are a multitude of ways to get a deal done. A Kyrie Irving trade is the biggest potential package but there are also rumblings with the Indiana Pacers and even the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz in a three-team deal.
While Utah could try and loop the Lakers into a deal with the Knicks, they might want to have their own separate trade with LA. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Jazz are interested in trading for Westbrook and draft capital and they have the contracts to send back.
That raises the question, what would a Russell Westbrook trade with the Utah Jazz look like?
The trade package the Lakers could offer the Utah Jazz:
There are not a lot of moving parts in this trade and in a sense, this is a worse version of a possible two-for-one trade with the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have reportedly turned down that offer from the Lakers, potentially making a trade like this more likely for LA.
So why make this trade? On the following pages, we will break down why both the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz could be motivated to make this deal happen before the season begins.