Russell Westbrook has had a subpar year with the Los Angeles Lakers this season, and many have criticized him for his turnover-prone and inefficient playstyle. Many believe that he was one of the reasons that the Los Angeles Lakers' season went poorly.
There has been some speculation about Russell Westbrook potentially getting traded this offseason to help the Los Angeles Lakers improve their roster. Rob Pelinka himself did not rule out the possibility of that happening.
Russ is a Hall of Fame player that gave everything he could to this organization this year. He battled every game, and we're so appreciative of that.
In terms of Russell Westbrook and his future, part of that is in his control... He has a team option, I'm sure he'll sit down with his agent and have discussions around that. And like any player, we'll partner with him after that decision is made about what's best for his future... Rest assured, we're gonna look under every stone for ways to be better, and be open to anything that will improve our team and put us in a position to compete at a higher level next year than we did this year.
While obviously, a Russell Westbrook trade could help the franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers might not get much in return. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype spoke to some NBA executives, a lot of whom had negative things to say about Russell Westbrook's trade value, with one executive claiming that it is "extremely negative".
One NBA executive said, “Westbrook will still be viewed as a negative asset by most teams, but some teams might be willing to take on one bad year in order to shed three years of future money.”
Another NBA executive said, “Right now, his trade value is extremely negative. All it takes, however, is one team to be desperate to add talent and have bad contracts to make it happen. The reality is that 95 percent of teams view that as a terrible contract right now. They’re not doing that unless they’re dumping a bunch of stuff.”
The third executive said he wouldn’t trade for Westbrook at all.
There is no question that Russell Westbrook's massive contract could deter some people from trading for him. With that being said, Russell Westbrook is still a player that can contribute to wins with his playmaking and rebounding, and he provides valuable leadership in the locker room. Perhaps those qualities will entice a team to move for him.
Hopefully, we see Russell Westbrook bounce back and thrive next season. Westbrook finished the season very well, so hopefully, we see that continue into the 2022-23 season, with the Los Angeles Lakers or elsewhere.