The 2022 NBA trade deadline passed and the Los Angeles Lakers did not make a single move, much to the disappointment of most of their fans. That doesn’t mean that they were not active in talks, however, with much of them focused around Russell Westbrook.
As the Lakers have seemingly come to the conclusion that Westbrook’s fit with the squad is untenable, the front office reportedly looked for ways to move off of his over $40 million per year salary. There are persisting reports over the last few weeks that the Lakers declined an offer to move the star point guard and their 2027 first round pick for John Wall.
But according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Lakers also had talks of a trade that would have sent Westbrook to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Buddy Hield. That would be a hilarious case of course correction given the Lakers were effectively on the one yard line to trade for Hield during the offseason before they changed course and moved for Westbrook instead.
Hield was ultimately moved at the deadline alongside Tyrese Halliburton in exchange for Domantas Sabonis.
We don’t know the exact terms of what this trade would entail. Hield’s salary alone would not have been enough to make the transaction legal and it’s possible that a third team would have had to get involved to make the money work.
Still, it’s a notable tidbit about how the Lakers front office operated at the deadline. There were reports over the summer that LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ involvement is what caused Rob Pelinka and company to ditch their preferred Hield idea and go for Westbrook instead. There are reports now that Pelinka did not consult James and Davis at the deadline. This report would only point further towards the idea that there is quite a bit of disagreement within the Lakers organization about how to move forward.
That’s not exactly a promising sign for fans.