Lakers News: Russell Westbrook Not Paying Attention To Trade Rumors, Will Continue To Be ‘Ready And Professional’
Russell Westbrook, Lakers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With the NBA trade deadline just around the corner on Thursday, Feb. 9, this time of year can be very difficult for players, especially if you’re on the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers are again expected to be one of the more active teams ahead of the deadline looking for roster upgrades. Whether they find a deal that works remains to be seen, but they have been dangling Russell Westbrook’s expiring $47 million contracts and their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to see what is out there.

The main player the Lakers have been linked to is Kyrie Irving with even LeBron James admitting a player of his caliber can help L.A. get back into championship contention. Irving is now headed to the Dallas Mavericks though in a trade that was finalized on Sunday.

Regardless though, the deadline isn’t until Thursday and the Lakers will continue to look for roster upgrades, which can’t be easy to hear if you’re Westbrook. He was asked about it after the Lakers’ recent loss to the New Orleans Pelicans though and said he understands the NBA is a business and will remain professional throughout, via Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times:

“That’s not up to me,” Westbrook said. “Like I said, I’ve known this was a business since I was 18, 19 years old, since I got into it. My dad taught me that at that age, getting to this league is a business, and people make whatever decision they make. And I’ll make sure I’m ready and professional, like I always have been and always will be.”

To Westbrook’s credit, he has done his best to remain professional during what has been a tumultuous tenure with the Lakers.

That has included accepting a bench role and not always closing games, which was the case in the Lakers’ loss to the Pelicans. Again though, Westbrook understands that stuff is beyond his control:

“Whatever decision they make, that’s up to them,” Westbrook said about his limited playing time in the fourth. “I can only speak to what I’ve been doing, being professional, coming to work, doing my job the best way I know how to.”

Everybody who follows the Lakers is ready for the trade deadline to pass so there can be a resolution on all this, and even though he wouldn’t say it, Westbrook is surely ready for that as well. Although it’s the nature of the NBA, it can’t be easy not knowing what the immediate future holds for someone like Westbrook who has a family and makes his home in L.A.

Reaves on verge of returning

There has been some good news for L.A. recently as it appears Austin Reaves is on the verge of returning after missing almost a month with a hamstring injury.

Regardless of what happens at the trade deadline, the Lakers need to continue racking up wins to get back in postseason contention and getting Reaves back should help with that.

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