The Milwaukee Bucks managed to pull off a successful run to be named the 2021 NBA champions. With Giannis Antetokounmpo putting together a historic performance on a supermax instead of hitting free agency, this year’s offseason will feature many intriguing storylines.
Teams will be looking to catch up to the Bucks in order to pull off a successful 2022 NBA Finals run. Not all of these types of moves end up happening in the offseason, but the rumblings can be noticed.
On the other hand, some teams will be looking to move on from some veteran players to add more assets as they look to position themselves for a long-term rebuild. Meanwhile, Some teams may not be in a position to contend but do need to show progress to keep star players happy with their current situation.
There already has been plenty of rumblings to monitor around the league. With the 2021 NBA Finals reaching its end, it’s important to keep a closer eye on them as talks between teams and players as well as teams together intensify.
Here are the latest rumors surrounding trade talks, free agency, and the 2021 NBA Draft sorted chronologically from most recent.
July 21: Lakers eyeing Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul?
According to The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears, the Lakers have been ‘on the hunt’ for a veteran point and both Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook are among the options they are eyeing.
“According to sources, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have been on the hunt for veteran point guard, and [Chris] Paul is on the list. There have also been talks about Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook being a potential candidate to move back home to Los Angeles in a sign-and-trade deal that could include free agent point guard Dennis Schroder, forward Kyle Kuzma and guard Talen Horton-Tucker, sources said.”
As Spears noted, the Lakers would need to use a sign-and-trade deal with the Washington Wizards involving Dennis Schroder in order to trade for Russell Westbrook. This would require Schroder to choose to sign a deal with the Wizards and including Talen Horton-Tucker, who is set to be a restricted free agent, makes the situation all the more complicated.
As for Chris Paul, he would have to be willing to leave a lot of money on the table in order to go back to the Lakers. The appeal of playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis in order to contend for a championship is appealing in itself, but so is playing in Los Angeles for someone who has continued to reside in the area.