Lakers Rumors: Russell Westbrook Expected To Attend Players-Only Minicamp; Won’t Be Sent Home If Not Traded
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Lakers made the trade to bring in point guard Patrick Beverley, rumors immediately began circulating that it made it more likely the team would move on from Russell Westbrook. The history between the two guards dates back to 2013, when Beverley injured Westbrook after unnecessarily going for a steal as Westbrook was calling a timeout.

It has only continued from there, with the two exchanging words on and off the court. But the two have reportedly been in contact since becoming teammates, and now, with training camp approaching, it is only a matter of time before LeBron James’ players-only minicamp takes place.

According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, Westbrook is expected to attend that camp, which would bring the two together as teammates and represent a big step in forging a relationship between them:

The Lakers’ LeBron James typically hosts a players-only minicamp somewhere on the West Coast before training camp starts, so stay tuned. Word is that another Lakers minicamp is likely in coming days and that Russell Westbrook would indeed attend if it comes together. Any sort of pre-camp gathering involving LeBron and his fellow purple-and-gold vets would represent a key step in the Lakers’ efforts to move past all the tension that bubbled throughout last season’s rocky 33-49 campaign, bringing James and Anthony Davis together with Westbrook and the newly acquired Patrick Beverley before the Lakers report for their first practices under new coach Darvin Ham on Sept. 26. As I tweeted last Tuesday just before taking off for EuroBasket, league sources say Westbrook and Beverley have already had some contact as teammates despite their ultra-rocky past, which Beverley confirmed in a subsequent tweet.

The LeBron minicamp has always been great at taking those first steps towards bringing a team closer and unearthing some gems on the roster. Westbrook and Beverley figuring out how to work together and developing any sort of relationship could ultimately help the Lakers in the long run.

This is even more important considering the Lakers have no intention to pay Westbrook just to go home, and if he is on the roster, he will play:

In the wake of further reporting on Westbrook in my previous This Week In Basketball compendium, two well-placed sources have expressed to me with even greater conviction that the Lakers lean very strongly against the concept of sending Westbrook home a la John Wall in Houston last season in the event that they can’t find a trade for him. Sources maintain that Ham is determined to establish a real role for Westbrook if he remains a Laker.

As training camp and the start of the season gets closer, it feels more and more likely that Westbrook will be on the roster and suit up for the purple and gold. The Lakers have continually said that they will be patient regarding any Westbrook trade, and if that means he will start the season on the roster, then that is what they will do.

How that will affect chemistry on the roster remains to be seen, but the Lakers overall have a lot to prove, and if they can come together, they can silence a lot of doubters.

Byron Scott believes Russell Westbrook can work with LeBron James and Anthony Davis

While it didn’t work last season, some still believe that the Westbrook, LeBron, and Anthony Davis trio can work, and among them is former Lakers player and head coach Byron Scott.

Scott noted the lack of health last season preventing them from building any chemistry, and still believes the trio can be dynamic working together.

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