The Los Angeles Lakers have tried all their might to get rid of their veteran guard Russell Westbrook this offseason. However, the LA front office has failed to offload the $47.1m liability off their shoulders yet. The Lakers have been actively trying to find a new home for the nine-time All-Star. However, no teams showed any real interest in bidding for Westbrook after the Lakers refused to give up their draft picks.
The closest the Lakers came to a potential trade was with the Nets in exchange for Kyrie Irving. However, all hopes came to an end after Kevin Durant ultimately decided to stay in Brooklyn for another reason. The Lakers reportedly considered leaving Russell out of the active squad even before the start of the training camp. However, several sources have suggested that Darvin Ham might be looking to play Westbrook in some role if the 33-year-old does not get traded.
As per NBA Insider Mark Stein, if Westbrook does not get traded and stays on the roster until the training camp on September 27, Darvin Ham looks determined to develop a new role for the Lakers guard. Several internal sources claimed that the Lakers have strongly resisted the idea of shelving Russell like the Rockets did with John Wall last year.
Despite the addition of Russell\’s arch nemesis Patrick Beverley, Ham is willing to take a chance with the 2017 MVP. Westbrook played 78 out of the 82 games the Lakers played last season. He scored at an average of just above 18. However, consistency and chemistry were the two major concerns the team had with Westbrook last season. Hopefully, he could turn things around next season if given an opportunity.
Lakers Double Down On Efforts To Trade Westbrook
Several reports have claimed the Lakers have finally decided to trade Russell. It would be interesting what the Lakers would be willing to give up for the trade to happen, given the financial limitations due to the salary cap.
Recently, NBA Insider Nick Wright was one hundred percent sure about Russell Westbrook getting traded by the purple and the golden. Wright stated that trading Russell was the only way to improve the Lakers\’ roster. While the Lakers have been focusing on on-floor chemistry, it is highly likely that they would allow Westbrook and Beverley to play together on the same team. Wright said, \”Can you imagine the disgust on Westbrook\’s face if he gets subbed out of the game and Beverley came in to replace him? That\’s not happening.\”
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