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The Los Angeles Lakers are in a position to compete for the championship largely because of the trades they made in January and February. That is when they acquired key rotation players D'Angelo Russell, Jarred vanderbilt and Rui Hachimura. Dealt in packages to get those players and others were veterans Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley, but as Beverley explained recently, he and Westbrook both feel as though they should be rewarded for the team's newfound success.

"Russy goes, 'Hey, Pat. Lakers win, I want my ring,'" Beverley said recently on his podcast. He responded in agreement. "I ain't gonna lie, Russ. We're going to be suited and booted, boy. I'm going to be right there, waiting on that ring."

There is no standard NBA protocol for handing out championship rings. Every team approaches them differently, and they are quite expensive to make. But according to TNT's Chris Haynes, that won't stand in the way of the Lakers. They will give Westbrook, Beverley and any player who played on their roster a ring if they ultimately win a championship. 

In total, eight former Lakers would receive rings despite no longer playing for the team by this decision: Westbrook, Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, Matt Ryan, Damian Jones, Thomas Bryant, Sterling Brown and Juan Toscano-Anderson. Some of those players have contributed more to their season as a whole than others, but the Lakers have been a far better team without those players than they were with them. The Lakers are 25-12 since the trade deadline. They were 25-30 on deadline day.

Giving those players rings if the Lakers do indeed earn them is nonetheless a classy gesture by the time. The Lakers, perhaps more than any other team, rely on their ability to recruit veterans, so they try to take care of their players when possible. Of course, the Lakers still have a long way to go before rings are even a possibility. As of this writing, they are 10 wins shy of the championship. They need to win rings before they can start handing them out, so far now, this discussion is premature.