If the Lakers truly want to rid themselves of Russell Westbrook, it is going to cost them dearly.
Westbrook and the Lakers failed to make the playoffs in the 2021-22 season, and the team may decide to trade him this coming offseason. However, it’s going to come at a price for Los Angeles.
“Teams have been demanding the inclusion of at least one first-round pick to take on Westbrook’s massive expiring contract, according to league sources,” The Athletic’s Jovan Buha wrote. “Rival teams know how much of a public trainwreck last season was for the Lakers, and they’re not looking to do Los Angeles any favors by helping them off of Westbrook’s contract.”
During the 2021-22 season, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 29.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Westbrook never meshed well with LeBron and Anthony Davis, and when you combine that with injuries to both, the pairing never had a chance to succeed.
With Westbrook expected to make north of $47 million on his player option next season, the Lakers are going to have a hard time finding a team willing to take on Westbrook’s deal without giving them something in return.
The Lakers reportedly have one standing offer for Westbrook, but they have not pulled the trigger.
The Houston Rockets have an equally undesirable contract on their hands with John Wall, who is making $47.3 million next season. Houston reportedly offered Wall for Westbrook and a first-round pick at the trade deadline but got denied.