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Grizzlies mentioned as possible 3rd team in rumored Russell Westbrook trade with Pacers, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers were looking to trade Russell Westbrook this offseason, and the Memphis Grizzlies may have had a role in those conversations.

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook is one of the most-mentioned players in trade rumors this offseason. And while he remains with the Lakers for now, there were extended conversations with the Indiana Pacers, according to The Athletic.

The Pacers were clamoring for a pair of unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, but were looking to package one of those picks for more immediate help. One team that could help them in that venture? The Memphis Grizzlies.

Here’s what Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Jovan Buha wrote regarding the Grizzlies in their overarching piece:

The Lakers and Pacers also discussed adding a third team, such as the Grizzlies, who could take a 2027 or 2029 first-rounder from the Lakers for two first-rounders of their own to send to Indiana, according to sources. For the Pacers, every conversation with the Lakers led to an ultimate demand: Both of L.A.’s available first-round picks — or no deal.

The Grizzlies certainly fit the bill for this potential deal, especially considering the team just inherited first-round picks Jake LaRavia and David Roddy in the draft this year. Both LaRavia and Roddy will struggle to find playing time in the rotation on a team that is expected to contend this season. But adding even more first-round picks in these upcoming two years might not be the best asset for the Grizzlies’ long-term. If the Grizzlies were able to find a way to gain one of these unprotected first-round picks at the latter end of the decade, Memphis could use that selection and gain more out of it, or package it in a trade down the line.

So, a potential trade could look like this:

Lakers receive: Buddy Hield, Myles Turner

Pacers receive: Russell Westbrook, 2027 unprotected first-round pick (from LAL), 2023 unprotected first-round pick (from MEM), 2025 unprotected first-round pick (from MEM)

Grizzlies receive: 2029 unprotected first-round pick (from LAL)

The Grizzlies have used the drafts from the last few years to build the core they have now, but it will soon become time for the team to stop bringing in players and simply rely on those draftees to develop into the players they knew they could be.

A trade like this could be beneficial down the line, but the Grizzlies also really like the players they have now and the position they find himself in, so it appears to be a win-win scenario for Memphis.

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