The Los Angeles Lakers were sure to be active at the NBA trade deadline and Lakers fans may have finally gotten the news they have been waiting months to hear.
It appears that the Lakers are on the doorstep of actually trading Russell Westbrook. Not many fans thought Los Angeles would actually go through with a potential Russ trade but now there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Shams Charania dropped the massive news on Wednesday that the Lakers, Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves are in discussions for a trade centered around Westbrook, D’Angelo Russell and Mike Conley.
Nothing is official and at this point in time, these are still merely trade discussions. However, the fact that the discussions are big enough for the most prominent NBA insider to tweet about it is a big deal. This is not the same as the other small rumors that have circled around the Lakers recently.
Shams is not the only prominent NBA to report on these discussions. Adrian Wojnarowski added to the report, detailing exactly what the framework of this potential trade could look like:
This is the biggest Lakers rumors to hit the news cycle before the deadline and if this trade did become official it could be the biggest of the entire deadline. However, just because it is the biggest does not necessarily mean it is the best.
Fans should be cautious in getting too excited for these D’Angelo Russell Lakers rumors.
We hate to be the ones to bring the party down but a return of D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley does not move the needle that much for the Lakers. Sure, it is not Westbrook, but Russell would present some of the exact same problems that Westbrook does.
He is a ball-dominant guard who has not been the best teammate and often cares more about his own box score than his team’s success. There is a reason why the Timberwolves are okay with moving on from him.
Sure, he is a better shooter than Westbrook so that will help with the floor spacing, but he is arguably an even worse defender. A lot of the same problems that the team has with Westbrook would be carried over with Russell.
Obviously the trade is not official and the draft capital in the deal can vary. But if the Lakers are paying one (or two) of those coveted first-round picks to get a marginal upgrade from Westbrook and another undersized guard who can’t defense (Beasley) then it would be a bad move.
One would think that Anthony Davis would be supportive of LeBron James breaking the all-time scoring record. That was not the reality on Tuesday.
It would be the perfect example of compounding one mistake (original Westbrook trade) with another.