LA Lakers owner Jeanie Buss was reportedly “reluctant” to give Russell Westbrook up to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner. It’s been reported that the two franchises almost reached a deal to trade the players over the summer, but ultimately didn’t push through.
Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote that due to Buss’ hesitancy, the team missed out on a chance to acquire two sharpshooters.
“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 (Pacers) that would have sent Westbrook to the Pacers in exchange for big man Myles Turner and sharpshooter Buddy Hield.”
Westbrook is still with the Lakers and is in the final year of his deal. The nine-time All-Star has been asked to come off the bench, and it has worked out well for Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Hield and Turner are still in Indiana as they’ve managed to get a few wins under their belt. With their recent success, the organization may not engage in any more trade talks regarding the two veterans. The Pacers are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 15-14 record.
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Lakers fans aren’t happy with the reluctancy of Jeanie Buss
After reports of Jeanie Buss being unwilling to trade Russell Westbrook, fans expressed how disappointed they are. During Westbrook’s first season, the Lakers missed the postseason for the second time the the LeBron James era. Due to this, fans wanted the 2016-17 MVP out of Los Angeles.
In his first season, Westbrook had one of the lowest averages of his career since his rookie season. The nine-time All-NBA selection averaged 18.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.4 assists while shooting 44.4%, including 29.8% from 3-point range. Based on these numbers alone, fans had enough reason to demand a trade.
Over the summer, many expected a trade centered around Westbrook to happen. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the two-time All-Star game MVP picked up his player option to play another year in Los Angeles for $47 million. The agony fans have experienced with the slashing guard worsened as they found out that Buss was hesitant in trading him away.
Westbrook is currently playing a reserve role with the Lakers. As the sixth man, he’s averaged even lower numbers than his rookie year. He’s averaging 14.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 7.5 apg coming off the bench.
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