What Are the Lakers Options With Russell Westbrook?

Via lakersdaily.com

What Are the Lakers Options With Russell Westbrook?

Basketball

What Are the Lakers Options With Russell Westbrook?

By

Via lakersdaily.com

Russell Westbrook has officially opted into his player option to remain with the Los Angeles Lakers for a second straight season. It was a pretty easy decision for the former All-Star guard as he is now due to make $47 million over the course of this next season. For now, Westbrook will be tasked with trying to make things work with LeBron James and Anthony Davis once again.

Last season was a complete flop for the storied franchise, and many are skeptical that having Westbrook around for another season will really yield different results. With that being said, the Lakers have some decisions to make and quickly. Here is a breakdown of some of the options the team has with Westbrook and how it impacts the team for this upcoming season and going forward:

Trade him for whatever they can get

-If the Lakers do find a way to trade Westbrook and his extremely high salary, they would be able to take back up to $55 million in a trade alone. This could get them some decent depth players, but the team would likely need to take on longer term contracts and possibly give up some of the already limited draft capital they possess. The team seems adamant that they won’t trade draft picks to rid themselves of the Westbrook contract and that they also don’t want to bring on extra money. A Westbrook trade seems unlikely at this point unless the team can get a third team involved in a deal and have the long contracts going elsewhere. The team has remained strong on this to keep cap flexibility going forward. However, jobs may be on the line if the Lakers struggle once again this season so desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures.

Keep Russ

-Honestly at this point, keeping Westbrook may be the best of a bad solution for the Lakers. Yes, they likely won’t contend this upcoming season but after the year ends, so does his contract. Maybe the team has good health this season and things work out? Maybe Westbrook really does learn how to sacrifice and plays much better under a new coaching staff. At this point, it’s all questions surrounding how the Westbrook experiment will work for a second season but with LeBron James contract also ending, the Lakers need to play it carefully. However, if James signals that he will be leaving the franchise at the conclusion of this year, the Lakers need to prioritize long-term success and not just to satisfy James. Having one year of contention with James isn’t worth taking on bad contracts. The Lakers are playing an interesting game of trying to win this season while also looking ahead to the post-James era, whenever that is. All signs point to Westbrook being a Laker when the season starts and whatever happens this season, remains to be seen.

Latest

More The Wright Way Network