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With the 2021/22 campaign coming to an end, it’s safe to say that the Russell Westbrook experiment hasn’t worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers at all. The future Hall of Famer is struggling to produce at the level we’ve grown so accustomed to over the years, despite being able to play in his hometown.
At the trade deadline, the Lakers actually tried to trade the Houston Rockets for John Wall because his contract is almost a carbon copy of Westbrook’s. However, LA was unwilling to include a first-round pick. Nonetheless, there would be a sense of mutual interest between the organization and Russ that a decision needs to be made this offseason.
Via Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report:
Either way, there is a mutual interest in finding a new home in Westbrook this summer, sources said.
The Lakers’ trade delay talks with the Houston Rockets for a potential Russell Westbrook-John Wall trade failed to generate significant traction, sources said, as the Lakers were reluctant to include their 2027 first-round pick in the deal. any agreement to offload Westbrook’s salary. League watchers have pointed to this offseason as a bigger opportunity for the Lakers to waive Westbrook’s contract, when they’re eligible to move their first-round pick to 2029.
As Fischer noted, the Lakers could extend Westbrook’s $47 million player option for 2022-23, sign him on, and then waive him. Even though they would be signed for $15 million over the next three seasons, it’s still a way for LA to get rid of Russ. Not cheap, however.
First, we’ll see if he can maybe turn the tide and help the Lakers get a bit of a run in the playoffs if they can.