LeBron James Expects ‘Great’ Year From Russell Westbrook

LeBron James made it clear that the Lakers are happy to have Russell Westbrook back in the fold.Russell Westbrook LeBron James

“I think it’s going to be a great year for him,” James told reporters at media day.

New coach Darvin Ham added that it’s been a case of so far, so good with Westbrook.

“He’s been awesome. Everything that I’ve asked of him he’s done (throughout the offseason),” Ham said. “Everything has been about being selfless, being team-oriented, defense.”

While the Lakers have looked to trade Westbrook, and he reportedly be OK with moving elsewhere, the sides are saying all the right things.

Some rumors have speculated that GM Rob Pelinka is refusing to surrender the Lakers’ next two trade-eligible, first-round picks (2027 and ’29) to trade Westbrook.

It appears that’s more than just a rumor now. Pelinka didn’t mention Westbrook by name, but did say the Lakers aren’t going to just give away those picks.

“Let me be abundantly clear … (LeBron) committed to our organization, we’re going to commit to him — including those picks — to see him to the finish line,” Pelinka said.

For now, Westbrook is back, the Lakers are back, and it’s hard to know just how far they can actually go. If it doesn’t go well early, well, you can be sure of one thing: They may back off that rally cry about keeping the picks.

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