According to Bleacher Report, the Los Angeles Lakers are already having internal conversations about trading Russell Westbrook as Dec. 15 approaches.
With the NBA season in full swing, Dec. 15 has the potential to change up rosters and shift playoff potential for teams looking for an edge.
On Wednesday, the majority of players who signed as free agents last year will become eligible for trade. This is a crucial development for teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, who are still seeking a valuable trade for Ben Simmons. The Sixers could potentially land a deal with James Harden, who hasn’t signed an extension with the Brooklyn Nets and would be eligible for a trade.
When it comes to possible Lakers trades, the only eligible players being floated around frequently are Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn, two role players on above-minimum salaries.
But there is one other potential Laker who could be on the trading block this winter: Russell Westbrook.
Lakers are having internal conversations about trading Russell Westbrook
However, moving Westbrook for two years and $91 million seems unlikely.
With the way Westbrook has performed alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Westbrook has not blended into the Los Angeles roster that the front office initially hoped. There are only a few options around the league that could feasibly facilitate a trade with such a significant value, the two primary options being the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Westbrook for Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio would work salary-wise, and it would reunite Love with LeBron, giving the Lakers two high-caliber players and a former championship teammate in Love.
Another potential option is Ben Simmons, which The Athletic reported is something the Lakers are currently considering. The only plausible deal that can match Simmons’ massive contract is Westbrook.
Russell Westbrook has been criticized all season, but with Philadelphia at a standstill with Ben Simmons, it might make sense for all parties to part ways and pair up with new players via a mid-season trade.