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Myles Turner will start the season on the Indiana Pacers, ruling out a potential Russell Westbrook trade with the Los Angeles Lakers

With Indiana out of the running, it looks like the Lakers may have to hold onto Westbrook, despite him being embroiled in trade rumors all summer long.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook shoots the ball over Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner

Myles Turner and Russell Westbrook

The worst-kept secret in the NBA this offseason is that the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to trade Russell Westbrook. The star point guard labored through a horrible 2021-22 season and has one of the most expensive contracts in the NBA for the upcoming season. As a result, it's not surprising that they have yet to find a willing trade partner for Westbrook.

The Indiana Pacers ruled themselves out of the running for Russell Westbrook

A few weeks back, it was reported that the only two teams interested in trading for Westbrook were the Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers. The Lakers were interested in picking up Myles Turner and Buddy Hield in a deal with Indiana, but for Indiana to take on Westbrook's contract, they were going to need both of L.A.'s tradeable first-round draft picks, which made a deal unlikely.

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The Pacers ultimately ended up removing themselves from the running for Westbrook, not giving the Lakers to pull the trigger. Indiana's GM Chad Buchanan shut down speculation of a trade by saying that Turner would stay put with the Pacers to start the season, making a deal for Westbrook impossible. This is another missed opportunity for the Lakers to unload Westbrook before the start of the upcoming season.

Do the Los Angeles Lakers have any other options when it comes to trading Russell Westbrook?

With the Pacers out of the running, that leaves the Jazz as the last team willing to swing a deal for Westbrook, and it doesn't seem like anything is imminent. The Lakers and Jazz discussed a trade for Westbrook earlier this offseason that would have sent Donovan Mitchell to the New York Knicks, so if nothing came of those negotiations, chances are they won't be able to complete a straight-up deal now.

For the Pacers, it makes sense to hold onto Turner and Hield, at least to start the season. Indiana wants to rebuild around Tyrese Haliburton, and it's still possible for them to include both of these guys in that rebuild. Picking up two future draft picks would be nice, but they would be in 2027 and 2029; by that time, the Pacers will hope they won't still be rebuilding.

The Lakers also are doing themselves a favor for the future by not dealing their final two tradeable draft picks, although it could hurt their team this upcoming season. Los Angeles has struck out on every trade discussion for Westbrook this offseason, and missing out on Turner could force them to hold onto Westbrook for one last season before he hits free agency.

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