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Teams aren’t exactly lining up for a shot to trade for Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook, but those who are want at least one first-round pick to take him.
Some want more.
Per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Lakers have spoken to several teams about Westbrook, who’s not viewed as quite the commodity he once was, or really anything close.
Instead, Westbrook is coming off a rocky season, his first with his hometown Lakers, and is widely expected to pick up his player option for $47.4 million this summer. He’d be a fool not to, because no one will ever pay Westbrook that amount again.
But the bottom line is the Lakers can forget about moving Westbrook unless they also attach a first-rounder, of which they are already in short supply.
The Lakers, per Fischer, is saying that is a no-go. They’re not trading a pick.
Where does this leave the Lakers? Yeah, about the same place they were at the trade deadline. Hoping to unload Westbrook, but not willing to do whatever it takes.
And we all saw how well that went.
Westbrook being so out of place wasn’t entirely his fault. LeBron James likes to handle the ball and facilitate, and you can’t argue that he’s incredibly good at it. Meanwhile, Westbrook is not that good at playing off the ball.
That is why everyone thinks the Lakers need to find a coach who can orchestrate an offense that will fit both James … and Westbrook … and whatever other fairly old star the Lakers might come up with next.
LA missed the playoffs entirely. That’s very un-LeBron-like and it’s definitely very un-Laker-like. The Westbrook trade last summer was a failure, and that’s putting it kindly.
Can the Lakers really afford to bring him back?
Maybe. Right now they’re trying not to botch the coaching search. One small basketball disaster at a time.