Russell Westbrook
Photo: Los Angeles Lakers/YouTube

Russell Westbrook’s spell with the Lakers might be short-lived even if he is under contract for another year. The 33-year-old point guard was acquired by Los Angeles as a superstar to for the Big 3 along with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

It was also a return home for the L.A. native. Everything was set up for success. Or so it seemed. There was always a doubt whether Westbrook can adapt to being a third option on the team. His willingness to take a lesser role and adapt his game was under a question mark.

With the regular season nearing its end, some conclusions can be made. Clearly, the addition of Russ has not worked as expected. The Lakers are struggling team-wise and Westbrook is struggling individually.

A point was reached where a possibility of him getting traded before the trade deadline was publicly discussed. With only a single realistic trade available, no move was made but it was not out of question entirely.

The main obstacle for any potential trades is Westbrook’s heavy contract. He has a player option for another year for $47 million that he is expected to exercise in summer. Regardless, it seems that the situation is so bad internally that the Lakers will do whatever they can to not have Russ on their roster next season.

Via Marc Stein:

“Jousting with reporters in press conferences is apparently not the lone source of pushback these days from under-fire guard Russell Westbrook. There has been no shortage of defiance behind the scenes, I’m told, when coaches and teammates have tried to broach changes in role or approach with the former MVP. For all the obvious complexities involved in trying to move Westbrook when he’s owed a whopping $47 million next season at age 34, one league source described the idea of bringing him back next season as “impossible” based on current tension levels. The question then becomes: If the Lakers can’t construct a palatable trade, do they try to just buy Westbrook out? Or waive and stretch him?”