NBA Rumors: One Player's Contract Stood In Way Of Lakers/Pacers Blockbuster

Before the Los Angeles Lakers dealt Talen Horton-Tucker to the Utah Jazz for Patrick Beverley, the Indiana Pacers were hoping to land him as part of a blockbuster trade. 

According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Pacers were ready to do the long-rumored move of sending Myles Turner and Buddy Hield to the Lakers in exchange for Russell Westbrook and L.A.'s two available first-round picks, in 2027 and 2029. That, the Lakers would likely have done. 

But the Pacers tried to go one step further, to extract Talen Horton-Tucker, while adding in Daniel Theis from their end. That was a deal-breaker for the Lakers. 

Theis has 3 years and about $27M left on his contract, and that's not something LA was interested in taking on. 

"Essentially, Indiana was hoping to get Westbrook’s expiring contract, the Lakers’ two first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, along with Horton-Tucker for Turner, Hield and they wanted to make LA take Daniel Theis," said Scotto.

The Pacers and the Jazz are still seen as the most likely landing spots for Westbrook and his $47M expiring contract—if the Lakers are able to get a deal done. 

We noted on Wednesday that if Jazz CEO Danny Ainge is to be involved, he'll try to squeeze the Lakers dry. 

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