One of the most persistent trade rumors involving the Los Angeles Lakers over the last several months has been a potential deal that would send Russell Westbrook and trade capital to the Indiana Pacers for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner.
It is one that plenty of fans have been pushing for, especially now that Turner is shooting an outstanding 43.2 percent from 3-point range this season.
But with Westbrook now sparking the team instead of being seen as a liability in his new bench role, it has been harder for the Lakers to embrace any trade offer that involves him.
In fact, it caused team owner Jeanie Buss to turn down the opportunity to acquire Hield and Turner for Westbrook.
Via Lakers Daily:
“Sam Amick of The Athletic looked into how that reluctance by Buss played a role in Westbrook staying with the Lakers, where he’s now being used as a key reserve.
“‘Westbrook may not be thrilled with the role, but his improved play and intensity speak volumes about his willingness to accept the reality that it’s the right move for this team,’ Amick wrote. ‘This is why Lakers owner Jeanie Buss was known to be reluctant to give up on Westbrook in those days leading into training camp, when they came so close to doing the well-chronicled deal with Indiana that would have sent Westbrook to the Pacers in exchange for big man Myles Turner and sharpshooter Buddy Hield.’”
If the Lakers were to land Turner, it would allow Anthony Davis to play more power forward, which would help them defensively, especially since Turner is such an effective shot blocker. In addition, Turner’s 3-point shooting prowess would open up the floor for Davis and LeBron James while putting a big dent in their biggest weakness.
However, position-wise, the Lakers need help at the wing and forward spots more than at the 5.
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Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire