If the Los Angeles Lakers are unable to trade Russell Westbrook, reducing his minutes by any means is the next best thing, right? Well, the Lakers went added and bolstered their backcourt last week by signing Dennis Schroder to a one-year contract.
The addition doesn’t necessarily confirm the Lakers will now trade Westbrook, but it has to increase the likelihood. The chief reason being Buddy Hield and Myles Turner are a better fit for Los Angeles with Schroder cemented in the rotation
The million-dollar question, of course, is if the team will find a willing trade partner for Westbrook. The Utah Jazz remain a possibility, but it seems unlikely, leaving the Pacers and Spurs seemingly as Rob Pelinka’s last resorts.
Or has Pelinka’s shortlist become even smaller?
According to Spurs Talk’s LJ Ellis, San Antonio has pulled itself from the running to trade for Westbrook.
Are the Spurs no longer considering a trade for Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook?
Here’s what Ellis said of the cooled Spurs-Westbrook buzz.
At one point in time, the Spurs were in talks with the Los Angeles Lakers to absorb Russell Westbrook’s contract. In that scenario, San Antonio was to be compensated with multiple draft picks. Currently, a source close to the Spurs says the two teams are no longer engaged in active talks due to the Lakers preferring offers by both the Pacers and the Jazz.
Ellis might not have the reputation of an Adrian Wojnarowski or Shams Charania, but he’s very plugged in to all things Spurs. Earlier in the offseason, he called several details in the Dejounte Murray-Hawks trade before it was reported by the big-name insiders. Ellis’ credibility is well-established in San Antonio.
While Ellis believes the Spurs are currently out of the running for Westbrook, he believes the franchise could revisit a trade for the 33-year-old.
According to a Western Conference scout, the Lakers are telling teams that they will take a wait and see approach to trading Westbrook as training camp approaches. If the Lakers decide to trade Westbrook at some point down the line, the Spurs remain one of the few teams in the league open to such a deal.
The Spurs have always felt like the most logical destination for Westbrook. It might not happen before the season like Lakers fans had hoped all offseason, but Ellis’ reporting suggests San Antonio would be more than willing to acquire Westbrook.
Depending on how potential discussions go with the Jazz and Pacers, it could end up being the Spurs who save the Lakers’ bacon. That’d be a fitting — yet equally maddening — end to this impossibly long saga, wouldn’t you say?