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Lakers Fans Are Not Happy After Russell Westbrook Exercises $47.1M Player Option: "He Literally Destroys Us Before The Season Begin"

Lakers Fans Are Not Happy After Russell Westbrook Exercises $47.1M Player Option: "He Literally Destroys Us Before The Season Begin"

The biggest non-surprise in basketball has taken place as Russell Westbrook finally has been confirmed to be picking up his $47.1 million player option to return to the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2022-23 season. This makes Russ the second-highest earner from their playing contract in the league behind Stephen Curry. 

The most optimistic Lakers fans have been hoping to see a situation where the team switches out Westbrook for Kyrie Irving, but Irving's decision to go back to Brooklyn for another season means the Lakers have to stick with Russ as their point guard.

The fans of the LakeShow are not happy about this development, even though it was a no-brainer from Westbrook's perspective. In just over 24 hours, Lakers fans have seen Kyrie stay with the Nets and Russ stay with the Lakers, their core becoming stagnant as a result. They aren't thrilled about this news and it seems Russ will have another tough season winning over fans in LA. 

Russell Westbrook still has something to offer to the NBA. He was in electric form at the end of the 2020-21 season before being traded to the Lakers. He has shown the capability is still there. With the awkward system fit in LA, Russ couldn't maximize his playing style and struggled mightily.

Coach Darvin Ham has already discussed the point of focus for Westbrook next season, which will be Russ's effort on defense. The Lakers struggled to stop opponents consistently. With extra effort from Russ and his tireless motor, the Lakers could improve their defensive floor.

There is a lot of work to be done, but the Lakers could find a happy fit for their big three of Russ, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis. It would have been easier if it was Kyrie instead of Russ, but the Lakers will have to work with what they have. If only the fans can generate some optimism regarding this move.