If Russell Westbrook is going to make things work in his second season with the Lakers, he is going to have to change a lot about himself.
His bad year has led to multiple trade discussions, and one of them has him heading to the Eastern Conference. Last month, it was reported that the Lakers were in discussion with the Pacers to create a deal to send Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, and a 2026 first-round pick to Indiana in a potential exchange for Malcolm Brogdon. However, Brogdon would be traded to the Celtics instead.
This month, The Athletic’s Bob Kravitz updated the talks between the teams and reported that the trade discussions currently dead.
“Per source, the Lakers-Pacers trade involving Russell Westbrook, Myles Turner, Buddy Hield, and other assets is currently dead. That’s not to say the Lakers can’t come back and add a second first-round pick to the current package of picks, but for now, things are at a standstill.”
A key factor in whether Westbrook will be shipped elsewhere lies in the fact that the nine-time All-Star has a $47.1 million player option, something that could make things hard for opposing teams seeking his services.
Los Angeles is seeking to return to their place among the elite teams in the Western Conference this upcoming season after finishing 33–49 in the ’21–22 campaign and missing the postseason.
In 78 games last season, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points per game—his lowest since the 2009–10 season—while posting a career-worst 15.0 PER.