New Update Provides Insight Into Russell Westbrook’s Future With Lakers

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The largest question surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason is what will become of Russell Westbrook. Many have criticized the guard greatly for his role in their disappointing 2021-22 NBA season. He’s widely speculated as a trade candidate. A recent report from the Athletic, though, seems to hint otherwise.

Russell Westbrook continues to be a member of the Lakers is seeming more real all the time, according to The Athletic.

“Lakers coaching candidates have reportedly been asked to discuss how they would use Westbrook in their system during interviews.”

If this is true, it will be interesting to see how Westbrook buys in next season. The media has made much of his issues with previous coach Frank Vogel. Based on this report, it’s clear the Lakers would like their next coach to have a better working relationship with Westbrook.

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The Lakers fired coach Frank Vogel shortly after the conclusion of the 2021-22 season. Though not entirely his fault, the Lakers’ disaster season required big changes. Many people expected one such change to be a Westbrook trade, though new reports cast doubt on that possibility.

Should LA keep Westbrook, it’s unclear how they will look to build their roster around their big three. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Westbrook, a fierce trio, in theory, did not live up to expectations. The three also create significant financial obstacles for LA.

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Combined, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James will make $129,519,186 next season should Westbrook accept his player option. According to a report from The Athletic, the 2022-23 Salary Cap will be $122 million – less than those three make combined. The Lakers have a lot of issues to fix, and extremely limited cap maneuverability.

If the Los Angeles Lakers do keep Russell Westbrook, they may be in for another long season. A trade materializing seems unlikely, so it seems as though the Lakers are getting ready for another season with their trio.