LeBron James Encourages Lakers to Make Blockbuster Trade

Russell Westbrook made the biggest headlines in the last few months. His struggles sparkled huge speculation and fans have at least one reason to believe that the veteran will leave the team. Well, the Lakers don’t really act like they plan to part ways with the All-Star. LeBron James hasn’t said much about this Lakers trade, but reports suggest that he’d love to see Brodie out of LA.

Awkward situation

Marc Stein was among the first to report that both LeBron and Anthony Davis would gladly trade Westbrook.

“They’re never gonna say it, but I think the commonly held suspicion around the league is that the Lakers top stars would prefer if there was a Westbrook trade and they were able to move him and they can really try something else,” Stein detailed on the June 2, 2022 edition of “The Rich Eisen Show.” “But the reality is Westbrook, when he opts into his player option for next season, he’s going to be making $47 million.

“And even though that’s an expiring contract, that’s just a mammoth number and you can’t trade him without taking back long-term salary. You’re not gonna get back $40 plus million of expirings [contracts] for Russell Westbrook. So, there are legit reasons for the Lakers to be hesitant to just trade him any way they can, because they don’t want to have to put first-round picks into the deal to move him, and they don’t want to take back bad contracts that hurt their long-term flexibility further.

“But my question is going to be, is the best play for them to really just run it back and see if Darvin Ham can reach Russell Westbrook in a way that Frank Vogel couldn’t? Or is it better to just wave him and take the huge financial hit in the name of starting over fresh?”

LeBron James will have to wait for this Lakers trade

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka had a chance to trade Russ at the deadline in February. He elected to do the opposite. The Houston Rockets wanted Westbrook, but also wanted a first-round pick. This offer wasn’t acceptable for the purple and gold.

Pelinka interviewed a few candidates for the head coaching position in LA. Each candidate received questions about Westbrook. It’s more than obvious that Pelinka wanted to see if his next head coach has a solution to the drama surrounding the All-Star. Westbrook has issues with Frank Vogel and he was bench at the end of several games.

Ham seems to have a solution to this problem. Interestingly, Westbrook was the only Lakers superstar to show up for his introductory press conference. They talked and yes, things may turn well for everyone involved in this process.