San Antonio Spurs Now Be Ideal Russell Westbrook Trade Suitor?

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Trade Rumors, San Antonio Spurs
NBA Analysis Network

After spending a few seasons not having a clear vision for where they wanted to take the franchise, the San Antonio Spurs chose a direction this NBA offseason. They decided to dive headfirst into a rebuild.

San Antonio has been leaning toward this direction for a little while now, focusing on acquiring draft capital for some of the veterans that they have parted ways with. This offseason they traded away their best player, All-Star point guard Dejounte Murray, to the Atlanta Hawks for a package that was draft capital focused.

The only player that the Spurs received in return was Danilo Gallinari, who was quickly waived. Three unprotected first-round picks were the centerpiece of the package as San Antonio also received a pick swap with Atlanta.

With nearly $30 million in cap space, the Spurs are on the lookout for contracts to absorb into their cap space that teams want to move. As long as draft compensation is involved, San Antonio would be willing to make a deal.

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One team that has been linked to the Spurs in such a scenario is the Los Angeles Lakers. Russell Westbrook would be the player heading to San Antonio along with some draft compensation. 

While those talks stalled, as the Lakers prefer deals with the Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers, San Antonio is still hopeful to make a deal eventually. LJ Ellis of SpursTalk provided the update.

“At one point in time, the Spurs were in talks with the Los Angeles Lakers to absorb Russell Westbrook’s contract. In that scenario, San Antonio was to be compensated with multiple draft picks. Currently, a source close to the Spurs says the two teams are no longer engaged in active talks due to the Lakers preferring offers by both the Pacers and the Jazz.

“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. 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.”

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The Jazz have already traded away Bojan Bogdanovic, which likely takes them out of the mix as a Westbrook trade suitor. The Pacers haven’t made traction in trade talks for Westbrook either since their asking price for Myles Turner remains high. Pacers GM Chad Buchanan already has stated that Turner will be on the team to begin the season, too.

Josh Richardson, Jakob Poeltl and Doug McDermott are the veterans that the Spurs have made available in trade. The asking price on Richardson and Poeltl is very high, so Los Angeles would have to pony up the draft capital to receive either of them in a deal. As for McDermott, his market isn’t too robust because of his contract.

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Should the Spurs ultimately acquire Westbrook, he wouldn’t be with the team long. He would be a buyout candidate upon a trade being consummated as San Antonio is focused on developing the younger players on their roster.