Lakers’ Patrick Beverley Trade Signals Russell Westbrook Could Be on the Move

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles made a move on Wednesday night that likely starts a domino effect with their roster, as they agreed to trade guard Talen Horton-Tucker and forward Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz for guard Patrick Beverley. 

The Lakers did not include either of their first-round picks that they can trade (2027 and 2029) in the deal, and they added a starting-caliber guard in the process. 

However, Los Angeles now has a bit of a log jam at guard, with Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, Austin Reaves, Lonnie Walker IV and obviously, Russell Westbrook. 

Trading Horton-Tucker, one of the team’s better bench scoring options, could be a sign that the Lakers aren’t done dealing this offseason. Los Angeles has been shopping Westbrook, but it has also been reluctant to attach major draft capital to get off of his contract. 

Right now, Los Angeles is +1400 at WynnBET to win the NBA title in the 2022-23 season, mainly because it’s hard to count out any team that has LeBron James on it. 

However, Westbrook was a questionable fit on the roster at best last season, and with the team lacking outside shooting, a trade for a player like Buddy Hield certainly makes a lot of sense if the Lakers are willing to part ways with some of their draft capital. 

With James signing an extension with the franchise this offseason, Los Angeles almost has no choice but to go all-in and try to build a true winner around him. 

Potential Trade Scenarios for Russell Westbrook This Offseason

So, what are the true options for a Westbrook deal? 

Indiana Pacers

The Lakers could move him to Indiana in a deal for Hield and Myles Turner, which has been widely reported, but they would certainly need to move at least one, if not both of their picks to do so. 

Turner would give the Lakers a true option at center to allow Anthony Davis to play the four spot, and he can stretch the floor from that position. The catch? He’s coming off a foot injury that cost him the second half of last season. 

With Davis already injury-prone, the Lakers don’t want to have another big man that is in and out of the lineup all season. 

Hield, a career 39.8 percent shooter from 3, would help replace the loss of guard Malik Monk this offseason, who was the Lakers most consistent scoring option not minted James or Davis in the 2021-22 season. 

Los Angeles lacks proven threats from beyond the arc at this point in the offseason, so moving Westbrook for any shooting is a win. 

3-Team Deal Involving Oklahoma City Thunder or San Antonio Spurs

There are a few teams that could take on Westbrook’s massive $47 million deal without having to match salary all the way this offseason, including the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. 

The Lakers would certainly need to incentivize one of these rebuilding teams with a draft pick, but they could act as a third team to help facilitate a deal where Westbrook’s salary comes off Los Angeles’ books. 

It’s unclear what the options would be now that Horton-Tucker is gone, but the sentiment is the same: the Lakers need shooting. 

Should You Bet the Lakers in the Futures Market Ahead of the 2022-23 Season?

I’m going to be honest, I’m staying far far away from the Lakers until this roster is in its final form to at least start the 2022-23 season. 

Right now, there are obvious flaws that James may not be able to make up for, and it’s hard to forget that this team hasn’t won a playoff series in two seasons. 

Not only that, but the Lakers couldn’t even make the play-in tournament in the 2021-22 season, and they have not fully replaced Monk, who is by far the most important loss the team had this offseason. 

At +1400 to win the title, the Lakers are a little overrated until the rest of the roster is sorted out.

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.