Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Free Agency

All signs point to the Lakers keeping Russell Westbrook

Expect for Russell Westbrook to suit up again for the Los Angeles Lakers next NBA season.

All signs are pointing towards Russell Westbrook exercising his $47 million player option to remain with the Los Angeles Lakers at least for one more season.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported the Lakers are “tuning out the skeptics” and are telling “anyone who will listen” they are not interested in conceding any additional assets in a deal for Westbrook or be willing to eat his entire 2022-23 NBA season salary by cutting him loose. The Los Angeles area native and former UCLA star largely underwhelmed playing in his first year with the Lakers.

Westbrook has bounced around from team to team since leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Los Angeles Lakers seem committed to keeping Russell Westbrook around

Let’s be honest here. What other options do the Lakers have really? Westbrook is not going to get anywhere close to that amount of money should he decline his player option. So he is going to do it and the Lakers will have to deal with the consequences of another bad decision made by their brass. Westbrook has no self-awareness and is past his prime as a 30-something former star.

Keeping Westbrook on the books for one more season is probably the best of three bad scenarios. Trading him will require the Lakers to give up even more assets in a glorified salary dump for another team to take on his albatross of a contract. Cutting bait with him means the Lakers will not have the financial resources to compete for a title next year. Plus, he is always ready to play.

With Darvin Ham taking over as head coach, it could be a win for the old guard, as he is not 100 percent a LeBron James guy. Ham has waited a long time for an opportunity like this. Westbrook still plays with a high motor, so maybe he can do a great job of putting what should be the Lakers’ third-best player in a position to succeed. If all goes well, Los Angeles should make the playoffs.

If the Lakers are committed to one more season of Westbrook, then it serves them to be all-in.

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