The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be active before Thursday's NBA trade deadline and the team continues to shop Russell Westbrook and his massive $47 million expiring contract.
ESPN's Tim MacMahon is reporting that the Lakers have discussed a deal that would send Westbrook to the Utah Jazz. L.A. would also have to include their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in exchange for a combination of role players that would including Mike Conley, Malik Beasley and others.
MacMahon added that if such a deal happened, Westbrook would likely receive a buyout rather than joining the team.
The Jazz have also talked with the New York Knicks about a deal that would include Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt for Evan Fournier, Obi Toppin and draft compensation, according to MacMahon.
Jazz CEO Danny Ainge, who has a reputation for being a shrewd negotiator in trades, told MacMahon: “We’ll try to be careful, but we’re trying to get better as fast as we can — without being panicked, without rushing. We’re in control, and we feel like we’ve got to be smart about the decisions that we make.”
Utah has been one of the surprises of the NBA season, now at 27-28 and sitting in the No. 10 spot in the Western Conference despite trading away its two stars – Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert – before the season. While the team is in the last spot for the Play-In Tournament, the Jazz are mainly focused on their long-term rebuild.
The Jazz continue to talk with teams around the league about deals that could include Conley, Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Jordan Clarkson. The team has three players it considers untouchable: Lauri Markkanen, Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji.
The Jazz have also weighed their options as a buyer, expressing interest in Atlanta Hawks big man John Collins and Charlotte Hornets forward Jalen McDaniels among others.