The NBA market is stuck. There are multiple trading rumors and a simple movement can get the players agency to get going. One of the franchises that wants to stand out in this transfer market are Los Angeles Lakers.
When Kevin Durant asked to be traded, Irving joined his teammate’s request as well. Los Angeles seemed to be the main destination for the point guard and so the rumors of a posible trade that included Russell Westbrook started going on.
Last summer, LeBron James pressed the Lakers board of directors to to get a third star and Russ was the chosen one. A risky choice, James trusted that Westbrook would help the team throughout the regular season allowing him and Anthony Davis to rest for the Play-offs. The failure was historical and now they are thinking about blowing up the entire roster, which is understandable.
Los Angeles Lakers, in search of a better rotation:
With no financial room for big signings, Los Angeles Lakers must move properly in the free agency in order to build a competitive rotation unit. Malik Monk, who was one of the best players from last season, has been traded to the Sacramento Kings and so they have signed Lonnie Walker IV as their replacement. Last season he averaged 12.1 points and 2.2 assists in 23 minutes per game. He can certainly have an important role and add freshness.
Another strength is center Thomas Bryant, who can fit in greatly with Davis in the interior playing of the team. Damian Jones, Troy Brown Jr. and Juan Toscano-Anderson are the rest of the transfer for Los Angeles Lakers in this free agency.
The last part of last season, with the Lakers out of the Play-offs, ended on the fire of Vogel and the arrival of Darvin Ham to the bench. Since the beginning, the new coach for the lakers seemed to be willing to make the team work out with Russell Westbrook as part of the rotation.
Ham said that he was unfair with Westbrook last season, as the real issues of the team were the injuries: “We all have had years where we could have done better, have better performances or simply just not having circumstances by your side”.
Westbrook has averaged this year 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists. The problem is his contract, as he earned 41 million last season and he has just accepted his player option for 47 million. This makes impossible any movement that they want to make in order to strengthen the roster.
Negotiations for Irving are cooling down:
The important players in the locker room prefer to try with Irving, as last year did not work out, but days are passing by and the situation does not progress at all. In case Kyrie did not arrive, there are other names on the table such as Buddy Hield, Myles Turner, Eric Gordon and Malik Beasley.
It seems like Los Angeles Lakers will trade Westbrook if they get the chance. On the other hand, Chris B. Haynes (Yahoo! Sports) reports that LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook had a phone call where they agreed to make the team work out next season.
We will see if Los Angeles Lakers end up being able to include Russell Westbrook in any trade or if he starts the season under coach Ham, who still believes in him. The course of the franchise can still change a lot, but it is obvious that we will have to keep an eye to their movements in the market throughout the next coming weeks.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: @Lakers.