Lakers Take Bold Stance on Russell Westbrook Future

The Los Angeles Lakers seem to be close to making a decision on Russell Westbrook and his future with the team. The veteran is coming off of a bad season and the team was expected to cut him or trade him. Rob Pelinka decided to keep Brodie around for a while. NBA experts discussed a potential trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets.

Trading Westbrook won’t be that easy. He hasn’t seen much interest from other teams and the Lakers can’t really risk losing more money.

Lakers may keep Russell Westbrook in the future

Marc Stein reported that the Lakers won’t consider using draft picks and young players to get rid of Westbrook.

“The Lakers continue to signal — at least for now with three months to go until training camp opens — that they do not want to force a Westbrook trade that costs them additional assets,” Stein wrote. “Regarding the long-running idea that Westbrook could be swapped again for Houston’s John Wall, since both would be making near-identical $47 million salaries next season, one source briefed on the situation told me this week that Houston’s interest has always been predicated on the Lakers including draft compensation to sweeten the deal, which L.A. steadfastly refuses to do.”

Westbrook has a big deal and is set to earn $47 million next season. Adrian Wojnarowski from ESPN reported that Brodie will make a decision later this month.

“Russell Westbrook can opt into the final year of his contract at $47 million, he’s expected to do that at the end of the month, but Russell Westbrook is really enthusiastic in getting to know Darvin Ham so far and expects to talk a lot more with him about his role, how he fits into as they move through the summer towards training camp.”

The Lakers have a new head coach and Darvin Ham may help Brodie fit in the system. Westbrook had issues with Frank Vogel and ended up on the bench on multiple occasions. Ham talked to him about his potential role with the team and the Lakers may decide to keep him around after all.