The Los Angeles Lakers are almost holding their breath at this point, with the playoffs carrying on without them, there's not a lot they can do before the NBA season comes to an end. What they can control, they've already changed, having parted ways with Frank Vogel, but the big question surrounding Russell Westbrook's future with the franchise is unlikely to get answered before the offseason gets into full swing.
Westbrook is a former MVP, a made man in the NBA, but his value is lower than it has ever been. With a huge contract being attached to the star point guard, teams are seemingly hesitant to bring Russ in. And even if he can be a help, after his regression last season, not a lot of NBA executives will be rushing to offer up assets to acquire his services.
The Lakers might have to attach picks to Westbrook to get teams to take on his contract. While they ideally wouldn't want to do that, having already leveraged a lot of their future, Jovan Buha of The Athletic has reported that they might do it anyway.
“Based on their deadline activity, and everything that I’ve heard dating back to last season, I think the Lakers are going to do everything they can to retain their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks. But if trading one of the picks is the best path to dumping Westbrook and/or significantly improving the roster, I think they will strongly consider it. They are in the win-now business with James and Davis."
Trading away their young players and assets is what landed them Anthony Davis and that brought a championship, so if they can turn Westbrook into some solid pieces to put around LeBron and AD, the Lakers might get back into contention again. Leveraging the future is always a gamble, but this is the best chance the lakers have at more championships, considering the level that LeBron James is still performing at.