The Russell Westbrook question is an ongoing one for the Los Angeles Lakers. The point guard remains on the Lakers’ roster despite the front office shopping him all offseason long, but a deal has yet to materialize.
As training camp gets closer, it is looking more and more likely that Westbrook will remain on the roster at the start of the season. There were some rumblings that the Lakers could possibly just send Westbrook home but that no longer seems to be the case.
With the season approaching, the Lakers remain in no rush to deal Westbrook. According to Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, the Lakers are comfortable with Westbrook on their roster to start the season and hopeful head coach Darvin Ham can get more out of him:
Sources say the Lakers are comfortable heading into training camp with Westbrook on their roster, hoping new coach Darvin Ham can unlock increased intensity on defense while another season with James and Davis makes life easier on offense.
This is certainly something Ham believes he will accomplish as he has been nothing but complimentary towards Westbrook since taking the job. Ham is reportedly intent on creating a role for Westbrook on this team and it looks as if he will have the opportunity to do just that. Whether or not he can get the point guard to buy into and thrive in that role remains to be seen.
As for the Lakers as a whole, they have maintained that they will be patient with any potential Westbrook deal and this falls in line with that way of thinking. The front office has been insistent that they get back real pieces in a Westbrook trade and so far have stood firm on that.
Going into the season with Westbrook on the roster may not be the most ideal move, but if a better deal presents itself during the season closer to the trade deadline, the Lakers can still benefit from a big trade as opposed to settling on a lesser deal.
Two first-round picks necessary for Lakers to bring back rotation pieces in Russell Westbrook trade
One reason the Lakers have been patient in a potential Westbrook deal is the draft capital it will cost them. The front office wants good players in return and that will reportedly cost them both their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks.
If the Lakers simply wanted to move Westbrook without getting anything back in return, it would reportedly still cost them one of the two picks with those prices being fluid depending on possible pick swaps or other factors.
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