The Los Angles Lakers are still dealing with a mess that was caused by a terrible 33-49 record in the previous season. The Lakers clearly lacked chemistry, consistency, and crucial players (due to injury) on the field to take them across the postseason and provide them with a chance of winning the championship. LeBron James was magnificent as always. He scored at an average of 30.3 points per game in his 19th season.
Meanwhile, Anthony Davis struggled with injuries the whole season while Westbrook failed to play alongside James. Hence, the Lakers could not make it to the playoffs and were eliminated before the end of the regular season. As the Lakers head to the offseason in hopes of making changes in their roster, the franchise seems to have very little resources to pull off a mega trade this summer.
While Westbrook has been one of the worst assets the Lakers have currently, it seems like the new coach Darvin Ham would have to run with Russell and his hefty contract next season. The nine-time All-Star’s performance saw a major dip this season. And his $47m player option makes it even harder to get rid of him. While Westbrook is in the net negatives, Rob Pelinka and LA front office are still trying their luck in the NBA free agency to find Westbrook a new home. However, the Lakers might be able to trade Westbrook for an important Washington Wizards player.
As per The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Lakers are pursuing a Westbook-Beal trade with the Wizards. Bradley Bale is another guy that LA have their eyes on. The 28-year-old is a shooting guard with three NBA All-Stars under his name. However, the reporter was not sure if the Washington team was as keen as the Lakers regarding the deal.
Can The Lakers Trade Westbrook For Beal?
The Lakers feel that Westbrook is a big problem in their roster. Trading him will provide some crucial resources to the team. And that can be used to get more impactful players to the roster. As per O’Connor, the Lakers are looking to send Westbrook with his expiring contract along with first-round picks for 2027 and 2029 in exchange for Bradley Beal. The Washington shooting guard has already shown his interest in joining the Lakers.
However, Washington may not be too sure about sending Beal to the Lakers instantly for Westbrook and first-round picks, which are five and seven years down the line. Thus, if Washington is to consider taking on Westbrook, they would expect something more from the Lakers. This is because Miami Heat and Boston Celtics are also interested in Beal. Both the teams have more assets and resources than LA currently. So, they could make a stronger offer for the two-time scoring champion.
Meanwhile, several reports have suggested that Beal has already made a decision about what he wants to do. The 28-year-old has a player option worth $36.42m for the next season. However, Bradley is set to decline the option and could end up resigning with the Wizards. If that happens, the Lakers will have to look for another player who has Beal’s shooting abilities. Moreover, they will need a player who could take some pressure off LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the court by making space.