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NBA Trade Rumor: Utah Jazz interested in Russell Westbrook?

NBA free agency just gets more and more interesting for the Utah Jazz now that they’re thinking of Westbrook

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Los Angeles Lakers v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

According to Shams Charania, the Utah Jazz have discussed deals with the Los Angeles Lakers involving Russell Westbrook.

Here is what Charania said:

Utah, New York and Indiana are among the teams that have discussed deals with the Lakers involving Russell Westbrook and draft capital, sources said. There appears no deal imminent in those conversations — as the overall trade market plays out over the next two months of the offseason.

Before this offseason started, most Jazz fans probably expected some sort of change that would alter the roster. I don’t think anyone really expected the massive moves the Jazz have made, all of which point towards a re-build. The Jazz being a very real possibility for Westbrook is not something that showed up on my Jazz bingo card.

But it does make sense. A lot has been said about the Rudy Gobert trade and the large number of picks the Jazz received, but the Jazz also received some nice, starting caliber role players in the trade too. Malik Beasley, Pat Beverley, and Jarred Vanderbilt have a lot of value. And those players would make a lot of sense next to Lebron James and Anthony Davis. Vanderbilt could be the inside presence next to Davis while Beasley would provide shooting and Beverley the defense. The question is, will the Lakers be willing to give the picks to the Jazz to make a trade happen. LeBron James can’t play forever, and if the Lakers want to take advantage of having one of the greatest t ever do it, they’re probably feeling the pressure to make a move happen. It would take at least that 2026 1st and likely unprotected, maybe more. We are talking about Danny Ainge here.

As for the Jazz, this season is shaping up to be the most bizarre season in team history. The Donovan Mitchell trade is looking like it will happen later rather than sooner, but will definitely happen. With all the trade talk of Mitchell going on and then to see him replaced by Westbrook would be pretty incredible. It’s doubtful Westbrook would ever play for the Jazz; it seems more likely he would go the route of John Wall in Houston, and not play until a trade possibility came up. Westbrook’s decline statistically in LA has been widely reported, but if he did play for Utah, he’d raise the floor in a way the Jazz wouldn’t want. That’s why him sitting and waiting for a trade, or his contract to end, makes sense for both sides. The Jazz have their eyes on the prize and that prize is Wembanyama.

We’ll see if anything comes from this but so much for a quiet offseason for the Utah Jazz.