Is there a market in the NBA for Russell Westbrook? And if so, how big it is? The former NBA MVP did not help himself with his performance this season with the Lakers.
He struggled on the court for a large part of the year to the point where his potential trade to the Rockets was floated in the media before the trade deadline.
Los Angeles will have a decision to make this coming season on how to proceed with Westbrook. The 33-year-old point guard has a player option for next year which is worth $47 million. It is expected that Russ will exercise his player option.
Unless the Lakers decide to continue with Westbrook on the roster, other options are limited. They can either try to find a suitable trade for him, stretch his contract over several years or buy him out.
As far as trade is concerned, it seems that some of the team don’t view Westbrook as a useful player consider his hefty contract. He is rather seen as a way to get rid of long-term commitments to other players.
“Basically, when sending out a player like Westbrook in a trade, expecting perfect fits in return is impossible. It’s functionally trading one set of problems for another.
“To other teams, Westbrook represented a one-year problem on the books as a way to erase long-term commitments to other players. Some scouts and executives around the league don’t view Westbrook as a useful player at this stage, especially with a nearly $50 million price tag.”
This past regular season Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 34.3 minutes per game for the Lakers.