According to Jovan Buha and Sam Amick, the Lakers have been involved in various trade talks this summer with the Utah Jazz.
In the wake of the Dennis Schroder/Lakers news, a deep dive with @jovanbuha on what this means for Russell Westbrook, at @TheAthletic— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) September 16, 2022
Sources say the prospect of Westbrook coming off the bench is being seriously considered as camp nears
In Buha/Amick’s story we find out that the Jazz and Lakers had been in discussions of a 4-team trade that would have offloaded Russell Westbrook’s contract.
The Lakers discussed a four-team trade with Utah, New York and Charlotte ahead of the Donovan-Mitchell-to-Cleveland trade, according to league sources. One preliminary iteration of a four-team deal would have had Bojan Bogdanović and Terry Rozier going back to Los Angeles.
It’s an interesting idea as far as the Jazz go, but having seen what the Jazz got for Donovan Mitchell for Cleveland. It’s easy to see why a trade like this would have been difficult to pull off. The three unprotected picks the Jazz received from Cleveland, along with the young talent, would have made it very hard to match salaries while making all teams involved happy.
But that’s not the only interesting part of the article. It mentions that the Jazz and Lakers have recently been in more trade talks.
In recent conversations with the Jazz, the Lakers have targeted Bogdanović, Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley, according to league sources.
It makes sense for the Lakers and Jazz to continue talks. The Lakers just re-signed Dennis Schroder making them even more crowded at the guard position. Was that a preliminary move leading up to a bigger Westbrook trade? It certainly feels like it.
For the summer, we’ve heard the rumors that the Lakers have two potential trade partners they’d like to work with, Indiana and Utah but it’s hard to tell who they would prefer to work with. Do they want the combination of Buddy Hield and Myles Turner? Or do they want this trio of Jazz players? Considering they are talking with the Jazz, it might mean that a trade with the Pacers isn’t likely? Only the Lakers and Pacers know for sure. But to make this trade with the Jazz happen, it means the two Lakers picks will need to come to the Jazz and unprotected. The Jazz have claimed each player is worth a pick, but the value of those Lakers picks, which would come post LeBron James, have huge value. If they get them unprotected, the Jazz might be willing to make this move. Are the Lakers willing to take that risk? It may be the risk required to take advantage of the final years of LeBron’s career.