While it’s been no dice so far, the Lakers intend to keep trying in their efforts to trade Russell Westbrook, according to Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Jovan Buha of The Athletic.
That said, the Lakers don’t seem likely to rush into a trade involving Westbrook, and very well could wait to see how well he fits into new coach Darvin Ham‘s system, per Charania, Amick and Buha. According to the report, Ham and Westbrook are already off to a better start than former coach Frank Vogel and Westbrook.
Ham has spoken about making Westbrook work alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis — and in fairness to all three, they only played in 21 games together last season because of injuries. But in the games Westbrook had to carry much of the load, the Lakers often struggled.
So Ham and the Lakers may be looking to keep Westbrook at first, but if he or the team sputter out of the gate, the idea of a trading Westbrook remains “real,” per the report.
Basically, what this report tells us is the same thing we sort of assumed. And that’s that the Lakers are prone to give Westbrook another shot, but that they will try to move him quickly if things go south. Along with the Pacers, the Nets, Knicks, Grizzlies and Spurs had been among those linked to Westbrook and his expiring contract in previous reports.
“[I]f Westbrook struggles and they stumble at the start, then this Lakers brass that has been focused on this issue for so many months now might be back at the bargaining table before long,” Charania, Amick and Buha wrote.
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