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Lakers reportedly plan on keeping Russell Westbrook

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With their new head coach, Darvin Ham, in place, the Los Angeles Lakers can now turn their main focus to fixing a roster that won just 33 games this season.

They were expected to contend for the NBA championship after their blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook last summer, but it didn’t exactly pan out.

Towards the end of the season, a divorce between him and the Lakers seemed inevitable, and there were even a couple of teams that were rumored to be interested in trading for him.

But things may have changed on that front.

Via Lakers Daily:

“According to a recent report, the Lakers now plan to keep Westbrook for next season.

“‘The Lakers are tuning out the skeptics yet again and insisting to anyone who will listen that they would rather keep Russell Westbrook on the roster for next season than surrender additional assets to convince someone to trade for him,’ NBA insider Marc Stein wrote. ‘The Lakers are also said to be adamant that they won’t release the former MVP and eat his $47.1 million player option for next season after Westbrook picks it up.'”

It’s always possible that this is more posturing than reality. However, the Lakers did ask candidates during their coaching search how they would use Westbrook.

The reality is that even if this is all a smokescreen, actually trading Westbrook and getting some decent value for him that would justify jettisoning at least one future first round draft pick will be very difficult.

That is reportedly the price tag other teams are asking for in any potential Westbrook trade.

Where will Westbrook play at the start of '22-23 season? - Powered By PickUp

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