Despite frequent clashes in the past, Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverly have been in contact since Beverley was acquired by the Lakers via trade from the Jazz, sources tell veteran reporter Marc Stein (Twitter link), who adds that head coach Darvin Ham has informed the two guards that he plans to utilize them together at times.
A report last week from Jovan Buha of The Athletic indicated that Beverley’s addition made Westbrook’s exit more likely, but Stein reported a few days ago that the Lakers have thus far resisted the Rockets’ approach with John Wall last season, having him sit out despite being healthy.
If that’s the case, it stands to reason that a trade might be the most viable path for LA to take with Westbrook’s $47.06MM expiring deal, though finding a taker might be easier said than done at that price point.
Here’s more on the Lakers:
- Steve Popper of Newsday suggests the Lakers might be interested in adding a shooter like Knicks wing Evan Fournier in a potential three-team trade between the Jazz, Knicks and Lakers that would send Donovan Mitchell to New York and Westbrook to Utah. Popper mentions Fournier because he’s been involved in trade talks for salary-matching purposes, but because it isn’t sourced, it might just be speculation on his part. Having said that, the Lakers do need shooting, and Fournier shot 38.9% from beyond the arc last season on high volume (7.7 attempts per game).
- Could Westbrook be the missing piece in a Mitchell deal between the Jazz and Knicks? Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explores that topic, floating the possibility of a three-team trade with the Lakers receiving Fournier and Cam Reddish from the Knicks and Bojan Bogdanovic from the Jazz.
- In case you missed it, the Lakers are reportedly still interested in Reddish after trying to deal for him ahead of the deadline in February, we rounded up some Lakers rumors this morning, and recently examined their pre-camp roster situation as well.