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NBA Rumors: Spurs Open to Russell Westbrook Trade If Lakers Make PG Available Again

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 19, 2022

AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

The San Antonio Spurs previously held talks with the Los Angeles Lakers about a trade for Russell Westbrook, and they could reignite discussions in the future, according to L.J. Ellis of Spurs Talk.

"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," Ellis wrote. "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."

In the initial trade discussions, the Spurs would reportedly receive multiple draft picks in exchange for taking on Westbrook's contract of $47.1 million in 2022-23. The Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz are also reportedly interested in a deal.

For now, Westbrook is heading into his second year with the Lakers after averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game in 2021-22.

The nine-time All-Star struggled with efficiency, finishing with a career-low 1.7 win shares, per Basketball Reference. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis dealing with injuries throughout the season, the Lakers fell apart and finished just 33-49.

Los Angeles now has more options in the backcourt after adding veteran guards Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schröder this offseason.

The team is "strongly" considering bringing Westbrook off the bench, per The Athletic's Jovan Buha, a role he hasn't had since his rookie season.

Another option could be to trade the superstar and use savings to add more impact talent to the rotation.

San Antonio is headed toward a rebuild after trading All-Star Dejounte Murray for three first-round picks. Even adding Westbrook likely won't get the team toward playoff contention after finishing 34-48 last season.

The Spurs still could benefit with a trade if they add more future draft picks to key the rebuild. Westbrook also won't hurt the organization's cap flexibility going forward with just one more season on his contract.

Considering the team has the second-most cap space in the NBA at $24.9 million, San Antonio could be a perfect trade partner for Los Angeles.

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