Utah Jazz No Longer Russell Westbrook Trade Suitor?

Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah Jazz, NBA Trade Rumors, Los Angeles Lakers
NBA Analysis Network

The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the NBA teams that were involved in trade negotiations with the Utah Jazz for forward Bojan Bogdanovic. However, they did not finish a deal for him, as Bogdanovic is heading to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee.

The Lakers are the biggest losers from that deal being consummated. Los Angeles was hoping that they would be able to make a deal centered around Russell Westbrook that brought Bogdanovic into town, but that is no longer feasible.

The options were already limited when it came to Westbrook suitors and you can likely cross the Jazz off that list now. Bogdanovic was the player that they wanted the most and he could have been paired with some combination of Mike Conley Jr., Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley. All solid players in their own right, but Bogdanovic is who the Lakers were targeting.

Now on his way to the Motor City, the Lakers will have to look elsewhere if they are going to move Westbrook. The Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs are two more suitors that have been mentioned as landing spots, but those deals also have complications.

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The duo of Buddy Hield and Myles Turner is likely the best players that Los Angeles would be able to acquire. However, Indiana’s general manager Chad Buchanan made it clear that Turner would not be on the move and would be on their roster on opening night.

San Antonio has solid players available as well in Josh Richardson, Jakob Poeltl and Doug McDermott. McDermott can do some similar things as Bojan Bogdanovic, but his contract runs through 2024, which makes him unappealing to the Lakers. 

Richardson and Poeltl are on expiring contracts, which fits the plan Los Angeles has. However, the asking price for them is reportedly very high. The Spurs are asking for a first-round pick in exchange for Richardson and two for Poeltl. That isn’t likely a price the Lakers can meet, as compensation needs to be included just to take on Westbrook.

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Rob Pelinka will certainly keep trying, but the options when it comes to a Westbrook trade are dwindling. They have been hesitant to do so, but if the Lakers do want to ultimately move him, they may have to include their first-round picks in 2027 and 2029.