Russell Westbrook appears to be ready to prove that he's still valuable on the Los Angeles Lakers, aiming to recover his best level this upcoming season under Darvin Ham. The Lakers reportedly feel 'comfortable' heading into training camp with Westbrook on the roster, but that might not be the end of his story.
Westbrook has been linked with a move away from Los Angeles even before last season finished, and this summer wasn't different. After the Kyrie Irving to Lakers trade never happened, the team apparently had different options to deal Westbrook, but so far, nothing has happened.
The Lakers are set to start the next season with Russ on the roster, but things could end quickly for both parties. While Russ hasn't asked for a trade, one NBA insider suggests that the player is 'very open' to leaving the Lakers to find himself in a comfortable position again.
Russell Westbrook Reportedly 'Open' To Leaving The Lakers And Go To A Team That Wants His Old Version
During a recent appearance on Zach Lowe's "The Lowe Post", Ramona Shelburne claimed that the former NBA MVP is open to leaving the Lakers and going to a team that wants the old Russ, the one that shone in Oklahoma City and Washington.
Via NBC Sports:
Russ is very open to a trade. He hasn’t asked for a trade. I’ve been assured of that. But he’s open to that and somebody who wants him and wants to empower him and wants him to be Russell Westbrook of old.
It's unclear if there's any NBA team that wants to get the old version of Westbrook. He was a ball hog during his Oklahoma City days, and the teams that landed him after that had to make some adjustments to accommodate him to the offense. That strategy never paid off for them, and it doesn't seem like anyone is willing to take on that risk again.
If Darvin Ham manages to relive Westbrook's career with a new role, perhaps the trade offers will start coming for him, but don't expect a team to ask for that player who won the MVP while taking care of everything in the offense. It could happen, of course, but time will tell how this situation plays out for the player and his current team.