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NBA Rumors: Lakers Will Not Waive Russell Westbrook If They Can't Find Trade Partner

Russell Westbrook

The Los Angeles Lakers endured a tough and disappointing season, and star guard Russell Westbrook has been the man in the crosshairs from the jump. All year long, Russ has been heavily criticized by the fans and media for his play and his role in L.A.'s disastrous campaign.

Despite that fact, the Lakers are expected to keep him on the roster for at least another season. In fact, according to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic, there are no plans to waive or dismiss Westbrook if they are unable to find a trade for him this summer.

(via Lakers Nation):

The Russell Westbrook factor continues to loom large here. Candidates have been asked to discuss how they would use a roster that includes Westbrook, with Lakers officials operating under the belief he will be part of their program next season. Westbrook has a player option worth $47 million for the 2022-23 campaign.

As for the prospect of Westbrook being waived or sent home (a la Houston’s John Wall last season) if he is not traded, those are not considered viable options, and all indications are that he will play. With that in mind, the Lakers are focused on hiring a coach who is capable of navigating these types of sensitive situations.

Russ hasn't been the best fit for the Lakers. He struggles to shoot and can make the wrong decisions on the offensive end. Alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, he wasn't nearly the guy he needed to be.

Even though he's probably staying, there is hope that he can make things work in L.A. With the right coach and enough time to adjust strategies, Westbrook can help the Lakers make amends for their awful showing this season.

It may be wishful thinking, but that is about all that the Lakers have left at this point.