If you ask ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst, the Lakers can’t bear to have another year with Russell Westbrook as their starting point guard.
Actually, Windhorst isn’t alone in that sentiment. The Lakers themselves seem to agree. And the standings reflect that as capable a player Westbrooks remains, he’s been a poor fit with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
“Westbrook’s gotta be traded,” Windhorst said on Get Up, via TalkBasket. “He’s got to be traded for any three breathing players because he will be an expiring contract that will actually have some value. You go to a team that needs to clear some money off of their cap.
“Then battle royale between LeBron and the front office: the 2027 first round pick, the 2029 first round pick. Will they put those in play this summer to try to upgrade this roster with LeBron one year left on his contract with an extension on the table? Wait and see.”
In Westbrook’s defense, he hasn’t benefitted from playing with a bunch of older players and the injury-prone Davis, and James will sometimes run the point, relegating Westbrook to an unnatural role off the ball.
Either way, the Lakers did indeed try to move Westbrook at the deadline. But now that it appears this is almost entirely a lost season, you can bet they will get even more serious about it this summer. And at this point, they may want to consider taking back anything that’s offered.
.@WindhorstESPN didn't hold back on Russell Westbrook 😳
"Westbrook's gotta be traded!" pic.twitter.com/MEDocpXr1B
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 10, 2022