NBA Rumors: Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles? Thunder superstar could be the Lakers’ unnamed trade target

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook

NBA rumors continue to swirl around the Los Angeles Lakers who are reportedly having an unnamed trade target in mind. Could it be Russell Westbrook?

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently undergoing a rebuilding process and this includes a huge adjustment in their roster. They made their first move by firing Byron Scott and replacing him with former Lakers and Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton.

In the 2016 NBA draft, the Lakers selected Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac to add to their young roster. Also, they signed Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng to monster deals after failing to acquire their target superstars. After Kevin Durant decided to leave for the Golden State Warriors, rumors spread about the inclusion of Russell Westbrook on the trading block.

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Several NBA teams expressed their interest to trade for Russell Westbrook, including the Los Angeles Lakers. After Kobe Bryant retired, the Lakers are still looking for the next face of the franchise. D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram undeniably have the quality to become superstars but need more years to improve their skills.

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insider revealed that the Lakers have an unnamed trade target in mind. If the Lakers are serious to trade their young players, they could at least acquire a superstar like Russell Westbrook. As of now, the Lakers are not yet signing Brandon Ingram which makes him a viable trade asset.

As much as the Lakers want to acquire a superstar, they are not buying the idea of trading their young players. Since Russell Westbrook will become a free agent next season, trading their prized assets would be a risky move for the Lakers.

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“The Lakers think they can sign (Westbrook),” ESPN’s Chris Broussard said. “I was talking to some people, some executives yesterday about possible trades they might do, or offer, and I was told they think they can sign him as a free agent. So, why should they give up anything?”

Months before the 2016 NBA free agency, Lakers vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss said that Kevin Durant will sign with his team and Russell Westbrook will follow in next year’s free agency. However, the Lakers failed to get a meeting to the man they think could continue the Lakers’ legacy.

If the Lakers still end up being a loser in the 2016-17 NBA season, there is no way that they would attract superstar free agents next year. This year’s free agency proved that having tons of money are not enough to sign quality players.

If the Lakers still continue to hoard their young players, they might end up being the last team in the Western Conference again.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

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