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Reports Indicate Russell Westbrook Could Become An Unrestricted Free Agent If He Gets Traded To The San Antonio Spurs

Shannon Sharpe Says Russell Westbrook Won't Be Happy Being A Defense-First Player: "Whatever Your Role Was Last Year, It's Gonna Be Less Than That."

When reports started to emerge last year that Russell Westbrook might be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, many doubted the logic behind the move. Pairing Westbrook with LeBron James and Anthony Davis did not seem like the best of ideas, and the eventual trade ended up being a disaster for all parties.

Westbrook struggled to fit in all season as the Lakers failed to even make the play-in tournament. They have been trying to trade him away, but teams have been unwilling to make a move for the former MVP unless they get some draft picks with him, which the Lakers seem reluctant to part with. That has led to Russ still being with the Lakers, but things might be changing soon.

With Kyrie Irving wanting out of Brooklyn, the Lakers have emerged as the only team interested in his services. As per Adrian Wojnarowski, the Spurs could also be involved in a potential 3-way trade that would send Westbrook to San Antonio. If he does end up with the Spurs, it seems like it won't be a long stay, as Eric Pincus reports that the team would negotiate a buy-out with him as they won't be interested in having him around.

"Westbrook wouldn't appeal to the Spurs and would presumably take a buyout, presumably for at least the minimum he could get with another franchise (nearly $3 million)."

It is an indicator of how much Westbrook's stock in the league has fallen that the Spurs would want to go this route, but to be fair, they are also doing this because they want their youngsters to develop. Having Westbrook around to hog the ball isn't going to help with that, and you have to think that multiple teams would be interested in Russ if he does become an unrestricted free agent.

Brian Windhorst reported that it is only a matter of time before the Irving-Westbrook trade goes down, so it looks like Russ will end up in the free-agent market at some point this season if the Spurs do end up getting involved.