Things have not gone too swimmingly for the Los Angeles Lakers in the initial stages of their Russell Westbrook experiment.
Los Angeles sits at a mere 15-13 and as the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Despite some recent strong play, there’s concerns whether the former NBA MVP is a fit with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Southern California.
According to this note from Jake Fischer, that has led to the Los Angeles Lakers having internal discussions about dealing Westbrook ahead of February’s NBA trade deadline.
“The trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook simply hasn’t blended as well as Lakers figures hoped, and Los Angeles has held internal discussions on trade scenarios for Russell Westbrook,” the NBA insider reported.
Westbrook, 33, is averaging 19.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 8.4 assists on 45% shooting from the field this season. However, he’s also averaging north of 4.5 turnovers and has seen the Lakers put up a minus 1.2 per game when he’s on the court.
Does Russell Westbrook have trade value for the Los Angeles Lakers?
Despite his overall struggles this season, the nine-time All-Star could very well be moved for assets that fit better in Los Angeles. He’s picked it up as of late, averaging north of 20 points to go with 7.0 rebounds and 8.2 assists on 49% shooting over the past 11 games.
Unfortunately, there’s this whole contract thing surrounding Russ. He has a player option valued at $47.06 million for next season — an option Westbrook will undoubtedly exercise.
This obviously complicates things when it comes to a potential trade with finances eliminating a good number of teams. Others might want assets from Los Angeles in terms of draft picks and/or young players to take on the guard’s contract.
Either way, it seems rather clear that the Lakers and general manager Rob Pelinka don’t believe Westbrook is a great fit for this team. It’s something to pay attention to as the February NBA trade deadline nears and teams prepare for the second half of the season. For now, the Lakers are likely in a holding pattern.