LA Lakers veteran Russell Westbrook is no stranger to trade speculation. After a slow start to the 2022-23 season, the Lakers could be active in the trade market.
One notable name that could be moved is Westbrook. The guard has had a shaky tenure with the Lakers since joining the team last season. He has shown flashes of strong play. It could just come down to overall fit, something that has been lacking with the Lakers.
If an opposing team is convinced that Westbrook can still play at a high level, he could be worth the gamble. What’s even more intriguing with Westbrook is his contract situation. Westbrook is in the final year of his contract, meaning his deal will come off the books after this season, when he’s making north of $47 million.
If Westbrook is traded, there’s also an opportunity for him to end up as a buy-out candidate. That would most likely increase the interest around the league in adding Westbrook on a team-friendly contract. According to a recent report from Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, the Miami Heat could be a team to watch out for in terms of adding Westbrook:
“The Pistons probably don’t view Westbrook, (Patrick) Beverley or (Kendrick) Nunn as important rotation players and could look to trade whichever Lakers they receive. If Westbrook is bought out, the buzz around the league has him signing with the Miami Heat.”
Russell Westbrook slowly finding his groove with the LA Lakers
The LA Lakers are hoping to create some momentum in the Western Conference standings. It’s been a slow start to the 2022-23 season for the Lakers. The team opened the year with five consecutive losses.
As of now, the Lakers (5-11) have started to show some recent signs of life as of late. One of the pleasant surprises has been the play of Russell Westbrook.
In his first 10 games, Westbrook averaged 16.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. During that stretch, he was shooting 43.6%, including 32.5% from 3-point range.
The Lakers have won three of their last four games. During that same stretch, Westbrook has started to play some of his best basketball of the year. He’s averaging 13.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 9.8 apg in his last four games. Westbrook still looks to have the ability to shine on the basketball court. Time will tell if it continues to be in a Lakers uniform or with another team.