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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

Report reveals price Lakers will have to pay to offload Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook dribbling

Dec 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) in action during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers will have to pony up a bit if they want to finally end their long, brick-shaped nightmare.

Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported on Monday that opposing teams are asking for the Lakers to give up either their 2027 or 2029 first-round pick (at a minimum) in order to take on guard Russell Westbrook.

Westbrook, who turns 34 in November, is owed $47.1 million next season. Thus, the Lakers would also have to take on some return salary in any trade.

That might be a hefty price for the Lakers to pay just for an addition-by-subtraction move. By 2027, LeBron James will almost certainly be retired, and Anthony Davis will be 34. Meanwhile, the Lakers’ best young players at the moment are probably Talen Horton-Tucker and Austin Reaves (hardly a future Jordan and Pippen). That means a first-round pick that far out could be extremely valuable, especially if the Lakers fall apart over the next half-decade and do not attach any protections to the pick.

Still, desperation may be the name of the game for the Lakers right now in the final year of James’ contract with the team. We know they badly want to dump Westbrook, and now it sounds like Westbrook wants a divorce as well.

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