The Los Angeles Lakers desperately want to trade away Russell Westbrook and his $47 million contract ahead of next season.
Not only was the former league MVP a poor fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the court, but he was also borderline-delusional off it.
Fortunately, it appears as though the Lakers’ longstanding nightmare may be approaching a conclusion.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, three teams have quietly emerged as the main trade suitors for Westbrook’s services: the Utah Jazz, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers.
“Utah, New York, and Indiana are among the teams who have discussed deals with the Lakers involving Russell Westbrook and draft capital, sources said. There appears no deal imminent in those conversations — as the overall trade market plays out over the next two months of the offseason.”
This aligns with recent reporting by ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, who suggest a deal of some sort was on the horizon.
There has been a lot of chatter in recent weeks about how Westbrook and the Lakers will try to make things work in 2022-23. But that’s clearly all just a bunch of gibberish to try to restore some semblance of leverage.
The fact that details of Westbrook’s disturbing behavior at last season’s practices emerged just last week is telling.
Clearly nobody actually wants to run this disaster back. All parties involved want to move on – ASAP.
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 26, 2022
Who will step up and take Westbrook off the Lakers’ hands ahead of the 2022-23 season?
Time will tell. But it’s very clear that Westbrook will not be a Laker come this time next year.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.