The Los Angeles Lakers will have a tough decision to make regarding Russell Westbrook’s future when the 2022 offseason comes.
L.A. appeared keen to part ways with Westbrook ahead of the February trade deadline following difficult first months with the team. But the 33-year-old guard remained in L.A. after the Purple and Gold’s front office couldn’t find a suitor for the 2017 NBA MVP.
Even though a mid-season trade didn’t materialize, reports claimed both sides would try to find another home for Westbrook again in the summer. Madison Square Garden likely won’t be that place, as Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer told NBA insider Marc Stein the New York Knicks have shown no interest in the guard:
”I pitched the idea to Knicks people time and again going back to the deadline, and they have no interest,” Fischer said. “Everything I’ve heard is that New York is trying to grow this group as it is and mix and match a few parts and move forward.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has reportedly faced pressure to remove Westbrook from the starting lineup, as the guard’s slump continued after the trade deadline. Other rumors claimed the tensions between the veteran playmaker and L.A. reached a point of no return.
But Westbrook’s form has surged over the last couple of weeks, leading to a much-improved performance by the Lakers in the crucial part of the season.
Westbrook explains why his confidence hasn’t wavered
Westbrook explained that “commitment to his hard work” and the values he believes in allowed him to persevere in the difficult 2021-22 — even when facing a tremendous amount of adversity.
“I have an unbelievable amount of faith and really just sticking with that,” he said.
“When you find ways to be able to stick and land on my faith, everything else will fall in place. So as the season prolongs, I never waver, as you guys know. I’ve been consistent with my messaging all year on confidence and different things of that nature, just finding a way to make plays for our team.”