Report: The Patrick Beverley Trade Makes It ‘More Likely’ Russell Westbrook Is Traded Or Sent Home From The Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers made a potentially savvy transaction this week, adding Patrick Beverley in a swap with the Utah Jazz involving Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson. While the loss of Horton-Tucker could potentially ding the Lakers in the future if he can rekindle some of the upside from earlier in his Los Angeles tenure, Beverley brings valuable defense and shooting to a team that desperately needed both.

However, an immediate question from Beverley’s arrival is how he might fit with Russell Westbrook, as the two veteran guards have famously enjoyed a toxic relationship. While nothing is official by any means, a report from Jovan Buha of The Athletic points in the direction of a potential resolution in the next few weeks.

Citing a source, Buha writes that, “Beverley’s arrival makes it more likely that Westbrook will be off the active roster by the start of training camp, either through a trade or the team sending him home a la the Rockets with John Wall last season.” Of course, this is easier said than done given Westbrook’s massive $47 million salary and apparent lack of trade value.

There is a potential partnership with the Indiana Pacers on an oft-rumored swap involving Myles Turner and Buddy Hield but, aside from a possible pursuit of Kyrie Irving, the Lakers don’t have obvious trade options. As Buha notes, Los Angeles could simply decide to pay Westbrook to stay home, instead seeking a trade between October and the trade deadline in February. That can be taxing as well, however, and the Lakers don’t exactly have a roster overflowing with talent outside of the top tier of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

It isn’t impossible that Westbrook and Beverley could share the backcourt in Los Angeles, and many players who have clashed as adversaries have cooperated in team settings — the Lakers recently made a situation like this work with Rajon Rondo and LeBron James. Still, many in the league immediately commented or joked about the relationship now including the teammate dynamic, and Buha’s report doesn’t come as a shock.