We’re now at that time of the year when trades start becoming one of the biggest talking points among NBA circles along with the Draft. With the season officially in the books, trade rumors are flying around all over the place. There was one piece of news that got the NBA world buzzing recently when it was reported that the Indiana Pacers rejected a trade offer from the Los Angeles Lakers for Malcolm Brogdon.
The offer apparently was Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, and a first-round pick, with the Pacers, said to have chuckled at the offer. While it seemed like an indictment of Westbrook’s value around the league, it does look like the report might not be true. As pointed out by a Twitter user, a lot of things don’t add up here.
The obvious thing, of course, would be that the salaries don’t match at all and it would take an awful lot more from the Pacers’ end for it. Westbrook and THT combine for over $50 million in salaries while Brogdon earns just over $20 million. This would mean that the Pacers would need to add over $20 million in salaries to make it work and a look at their roster reveals that they’d need to add someone like Buddy Hield for that.
There’d be some more credibility to this report if that was the case, but there was no mention of Hield on any other player to get the salaries to work. Also, the Lakers cannot trade that 2026 pick just yet as stated there, as the Pelicans own either their 2024 or 2025 pick.
The Stepien rule in the NBA states that a team cannot go 2 years without a first-round pick, so the Lakers can only trade the 2026 pick if the Pelicans take their 2024 pick. They won’t know that until 2024 of course, so that pick is untradeable at the moment. It seems pretty clear now that the report was well off the mark as there is no way this trade could have gone down. We are unfortunately going to get many more of these the rest of the way and it’s important to have a closer look to see whether there’s actually some truth to them.