The Lakers were reportedly in discussion with the Pacers to create a deal to send Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker and a 2026 first-round pick to Indiana in a potential exchange for Malcolm Brogdon, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
The ESPN draft analyst joined The Lowe Post podcast hosted by ESPN’s Zach Lowe and said the trade discussions went nowhere between the two teams. When currently looking at the Pacers’ roster, the idea of bringing Westbrook to Indiana would not have been the best move for the franchise.
“They just get a nice chuckle and say ’No thank you, we’ve got better deals on the table than that,” Givony said of the offer, adding that a move for Brogdon “is probably not going to happen.”
Westbrook is at his best when the ball is in his hands and the offense runs through him, while Indiana already has what appears to be a budding star in Tyrese Haliburton who came over to the team from Sacramento before the midseason trade deadline in February.
Indiana is seeking to rebuild and restore itself after last year’s 25–57 campaign, but had a bright spot in Haliburton, who produced significantly when given the opportunity. He averaged nearly 18 points and close to 10 assists per game after the trade.
Even more, a key factor in whether Westbrook will be shipped elsewhere lies in the fact that the nine-time All-Star has a $47.1 million player option, something that could make things hard for opposing teams seeking his services. As previously reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers remain open to trading Westbrook though.
Los Angeles is seeking to return to their place among the elite teams in the Western Conference this upcoming season after finishing 33–49 in the ’21–22 campaign and missing the postseason.
In 78 games last season, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points per game—his lowest since the 2009–10 season—while posting a career-worst 15.0 PER.
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