Report: There’s ‘Decent Chance’ Lakers Send out Russell Westbrook as Third Team in Donovan Mitchell Trade

Have the Los Angeles Lakers finally found their Russell Westbrook escape plan?

The Los Angeles Lakers will mostly likely trade Russell Westbrook before the season starts, that’s if they can find a deal that works for them.

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Marc Stein reported on the Lakers being a  potential trade partner emerging in his Sunday newsletter, saying the Los Angeles Lakers could very well be the third team in a Donovan Mitchell trade with the Knicks, sending out a pick or picks to unload Westbrook and get back quality role players.

Via Marc Stein Substack:  

If the Knicks manage to win the trade race for Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, or even if another team unexpectedly beats them to Mitchell, league sources say there’s a decent chance that the Lakers will be involved in the deal. The two future first-round picks that the Lakers possess in 2027 and 2029 are the kind of top-shelf draft picks that Jazz CEO Danny Ainge is believed to covet. Russell Westbrook’s $47 million expiring contract and those picks could be the Lakers’ entree to a potential three-team swap … depending on the players that would land in Los Angeles.

The Lakers, I’m told, continue to hold firm on their position that they will agree to surrender both of their future firsts in the same deal only if the trade makes them a certified contender. Does a three-teamer that routes, say, Utah’s Bojan Bogdanović and New York’s Evan Fournier to the Lakers rise to that level?

Lakers should and will strike a deal, but of course it all will depend on what exactly they need to throw into the mix to get the trade done. The challenge for Los Angeles Lakers GM Rob Pelinka is they really don’t have enough trade assets to get rid of Westbrook.

Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks is probably going to happen, the only questions are when and what the deal ends up looking like. The Lakers could be part of that deal, but it’s definitely going to cost them.

Is keeping Westbrook a better option? That’s the $47 million dollar question.

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