The events of this past week dealt a serious blow to the thousands of Los Angeles Lakers fans desperately awaiting a Russell Westbrook trade. It started on Wednesday, when Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan revealed that Myles Turner would start the season in Indiana. Team executives are hardly known for their honesty, but with training camps set to begin next week, it’s hard to imagine he was bluffing. A day later, Utah traded Bojan Bogdanovic, the centerpiece of a possible Westbrook deal, to the Detroit Pistons. Never say never in the modern NBA, but with Utah effectively out of the running and Indiana bowing out publicly, it certainly appears as though Westbrook is going to start the season in purple and gold.
Such an outcome felt unfathomable in April, when Westbrook delivered one of the most jarring exit interviews in NBA history. The team has made every attempt publicly to welcome him back into the fold, but he split with longtime agent Thad Foucher in part because Foucher urged him to accept the team’s olive branch. It doesn’t feel as though Westbrook is all that eager to play another season for the Lakers. So why wasn’t the team able to find a satisfactory trade?
We can at least pay lip service to the idea that the Lakers wanted Westbrook back. New head coach Darvin Ham certainly wanted the world to believe that at his introductory press conference when he claimed to have “a clear plan” on how to use the former MVP. Of course, these trade rumors wouldn’t have persisted for five months if the Lakers liked the idea of having Westbrook on their basketball team. After the season Westbrook just had, nobody would.
Price is a reasonable explanation. It has been widely reported that Indiana wanted two first-round picks from the Lakers to consider a package built around Turner and Buddy Hield. The Lakers don’t appear willing to have met that price. But the Bogdanovic trade muddies that idea a bit. The Pistons managed to acquire him without giving up a single first-round pick. Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune reported that the Jazz…
Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/how-the-repeater-tax-looms-over-lakers-failure-to-trade-russell-westbrook/
Author : Sam Quinn
Publish date : 2022-09-23 14:56:09
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