After an abysmal season, the Los Angeles Lakers have entered a period of uncertainty about the path ahead.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are sticking around, of course, and head coach Frank Vogel has already been fired. The situation with Russell Westbrook, though, is still a mystery.
According to Dan Woike of the LA Times, even the team is undecided on what to do with him this summer:
I’ve spoken with more than a handful of executives here in Chicago about the Lakers and Russell Westbrook, and there’s really no clarity in what the team is going to do (h/t Silver Screen & Roll). Most execs believe any Westbrook deal would require the Lakers sacrificing at least one future first, which is a hefty tax to pay with just a year left on his deal. Some think there might be a deal to be had where the Lakers simply take back long-term deals from other teams in exchange for more immediate cap relief.
But the only thing solid to report is that the Lakers haven’t ruled anything out when it comes to Westbrook’s future. They’ve definitely discussed him with potential coaches in their interview process. But that’s just one option. A trade is certainly still on the table, too.
It just seems like a complicated decision that the Lakers have yet to make.
Westbrook, 33, is a 9x All-Star and 1x MVP. In OKC, he was one of the best guards in the league as he led a Thunder team to the postseason multiple times.
Unfortunately, in L.A., he played some of the worst ball of his career. In 78 games, he averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game on 44% shooting. L.A. finished 11th in the West.
As the Lakers ponder whether to keep him or trade him, LeBron James will prepare his mind and body for the next season, when the Purple and Gold might be better equipped to win a title.