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) The Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly having “ongoing talks,” according to The Athletic’s Tony Jones, though he added that the Jazz “don’t seem particularly close to getting them More assets and consolidated trade list.”
The obvious conclusion is that such conversations will revolve around the Lakers The veteran point guard Russell Westbrook and the remaining veterans unfold. Utah’s lineup such as Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson and Rudy Gay. The Jazz can match Westbrook’s sky-high $47 million contract. The upcoming season returns Conley ($22.6 million), Bogdanovic ($19.3 million) and Gay ($6.1 million). Or they could get Westbrook and Kendrick Nunn ($5.2 million) back with Conley, Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson ($13.3 million). Negotiations are likely to focus on the Jazz’s draft capital in return, as the Jazz will almost certainly compete with Westminster Thbrook made a deal to drop him.
The Lakers currently have two future first-round picks that they can trade in 2027 and 2029. So far, reports of any possible Westbrook trade suggest the team is in no rush to do both. But Utah will almost certainly want at least one pick for the outgoing player and another pick to take on Westbrook’s massive contract.
And Utah’s veteran role players are better for LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the rest of the Lakers than Westbrook is far better at the moment.
Conley took a step back, but he’s still a solid enough defender and can provide no-nonsense on James’ offense ball space. Bogdanovic will provide a much-needed catch-and-shoot option. Guy is a solid enough two-way wing. Clarkson provides instant offense off the bench.
It’s easier to argue for any three of these players than it is for Westbrook, a point guard who is a point guard , does not provide solid ball defense or any floor spacing. His jump shot was inappropriate, which is why the Lakers limped to a 33-49 record last season.
The Lakers are openly supporting Westbrook. It’s hard to imagine them privately believing that he was the right man for the team after last season’s humiliating defeat. A trade is still possible, although the Lakers may have to accept that they have zero leverage and give up their two future first-round picks before the trade ultimately falls through.