Lakers Rumors: Russell Westbrook Unlikely To Accept Contract Buyout
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Russell Westbrook has said he would like to reunite with the Los Angeles Lakers next year, but more and more reports claim the franchise considers multiple options to part ways with the guard.

The Charlotte Hornets have reportedly been mentioned among potential suitors for Westbrook and his expiring contract. Also, the Lakers are believed to have not ruled out waiving the 2017 NBA MVP and stretching his contract over the coming ways to get more financial flexibility this summer.

Another solution for L.A. to consider would be a buyout agreement with Westbrook. However, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports it seems unlikely the 33-year-old would agree to leave the team in such manner:

One option: Westbrook considering a buyout of the final year of his contract, but at least for now, sources close to the 2017 MVP expressed pessimism he would do that.

Westbrook is a prideful man. His swagger is both his sword and his shield, and he will not lay them down lightly. He is wary of the stigma that comes with accepting a buyout, one source close to him explained. But he also still believes he can contribute to a team at a high level.

Westbrook’s $47 million salary will put the Lakers $52.3 million over the projected 2022 salary cap even before they start building the 2022-23 roster, consuming 27% of the team’s cap space.

As of now, L.A. has seven players contracted for the next campaign: LeBron James, Anthony Davis Talen Horton-Tucker, Stanley Johnson, Austin Reaves, Kendrick Nunn, and Westbrook — with the last two having player options to pick up this summer.

Westbrook discusses spiritual growth during 2021-22

Amid the adversity the Lakers and Westbrook faced in 2021-22, the guard said he learned a lot about himself and his faith during the season.

“I’m covered and what I mean by that is I am super blessed and grateful regardless of whatever is thrown my way,” Westbrook said when asked what he has learned over the last year.

“I’m covered by my protection in faith and what’s happening or thrown my way, I can always prevail and get through it.”

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