juin 29, 2022

Lakers won’t include first-round pick in potential Westbrook trade

2 min read

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to have a $40 million problem on their hands in Russell Westbrook.

According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, bringing back the nine-time All-Star for next season would be a « colossal mistake » for the Lakers. While there has been plenty of reported chatter and rumors surrounding Westbrook this offseason already, the guard’s gargantuan contract may be tough for the team to move.

« Though Westbrook can technically become a free agent and leave L.A. this summer, all indications point to Westbrook exercising his $47.1 million player option by June 29 and entering the offseason as a Laker. … As The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported last week, the Lakers are now strongly considering the possibility of keeping Westbrook because of the hardball stance the league is currently taking in trade negotiations, » Buha wrote. « Rival teams know how much of a public trainwreck last season was for the Lakers, and they’re not looking to do Los Angeles any favors by helping them off of Westbrook’s contract. … The Lakers have four options with Westbrook: they can trade him, waive and stretch him, buy him out, or run it back with him next season. Rivals believe Los Angeles has to trade him ahead of training camp because the situation is untenable, especially after Westbrook’s exit-interview comments deflected blame toward LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the rest of the franchise. »

Per Buha, « there is a sentiment » among some within the Lakers organization that the « right coach and a better supporting cast » could « smooth over » Westbrook’s fit with his co-stars. In fact, it was reported last week that Los Angeles was actively asking head-coaching candidates how they would work with Westbrook in order to get the most out of him.

The Lakers fired head coach Frank Vogel in April after finishing the season 11th in the Western Conference with a 33-49 record.

The 2016-2017 NBA MVP ended his first season with Los Angeles by averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while posting a .444/.298/.667 shooting line.



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