The Los Angeles Lakers have attempted to revamp their roster in free agency, but the situation surrounding point guard Russell Westbrook remains the big domino ahead of the season. Here’s where things stand between the Lakers and Westbrook.
The point guard had a decent season based on the statistics, averaging 18-7-7 in 78 games played. The efficiency was down, and the defense was non-existent. Westbrook struggled to fit with LeBron James and Anthony Davis due to his poor shooting ability, but he didn’t make up for it in other areas. He’s on an expiring contract, which helps the Lakers marginally when seeking out a trade partner.
On Westbrook’s end, he’s just parted ways with his longtime agent who commented on the point guard’s thought process as the news broke. It was a scathing assessment of Westbrook’s beliefs and showed an unwillingness to change his game to make things work. However, there was also a report from Chris Haynes about the Lakers “Big 3” of James, Davis and Westbrook having a phone conversation attempting to make things work. It’s hard to tell exactly what is happening here.
For now, there seems to be no imminent deal on the table. Westbrook was discussed in a swap with the Brooklyn Nets for Kyrie Irving but those talks have cooled according to many reports. The Charlotte Hornets are a potential fit because they can get off some long-term contracts in a Westbrook deal. The Utah Jazz are in a rebuild and could use some draft picks and move off salaries as well, although the Lakers likely wouldn’t get Donovan Mitchell back in that trade.