The Lakers’ updated schedule to begin exploring trade options is Dec. 15, and they are weighing three different paths, multiple team sources said. the athletic. Here’s what you need to know:
- Path 1 is to trade Russell Westbrook, plus a pick or two, for a star or multiplayer haul.
- Route 2 is to trade some combination of Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, and picks (one first-round pick and/or multiple second-round picks) for role players that better address needs and improve rotation.
- Route 3 would be two separate deals: one with Westbrook plus a first-round pick, another using a Beverley-Nunn pick package.
The Lakers are 8-12, ranked 13th in the Western Conference, but have won six of their last eight games.
The Lakers have been trying to determine if they prefer a smaller or larger trade to address their need for better perimeter shooting and/or size. the athletic previously reported. That includes deciding whether they want to include one or both of their future tradable first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 in any deal. The Lakers are reluctant to give up both unless there is a trade or series of trades that they believe will elevate them to contender status.
Los Angeles considered trading Westbrook during the offseason, but ultimately stuck with him after determining the cost of getting rid of him would be too high. He started slow but has improved since coach Darvin Ham removed him from the starting lineup and inserted him into a sixth-man role.
The Lakers traded Talen Horton-Tucker to the Utah Jazz for veteran Beverley in August. Beverley, 34, is averaging 4.2 points. 3.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game this season.
Nunn, 27, is in the final year of his contract with Los Angeles and has averaged 5.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
December 15 is the first day free agents who were signed in the offseason can be traded.
Which package is more likely?
The Lakers are leaning toward the No. 2 or No. 3 option at this point, team sources said.. That would mean making a smaller move to marginally improve the roster while preserving the possibility of following up with a larger Westbrook deal later in the season.
The Lakers are still evaluating their roster as they near full health, and the team’s upcoming six-game East Coast tour is a potential game changer in how aggressively the front office offers its top picks. round in the exchange market, according to a team source. .
Why Beverly and Nunn?
Beverley ($13 million) and Nunn ($5.3 million) are underperforming on their contracts. With the Lakers’ needs for additional size at wing and a better complementary big next to Anthony Davis, along with an excess of small guards on the roster, Beverley and/or Nunn are expendable. Packaged together, the Lakers could acquire a player or players in the $20 million range.
The Lakers waived sharpshooter Matt Ryan on Thursday to reduce the roster to 14 players, it was first reported. the athleticShams Charania. There are no immediate plans for the 15th roster spot, according to a team source. The Lakers can sign a free agent for the remainder of the season or to a 10-day contract (effective Jan. 5), or they can get an additional player back in a trade.
(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today)