For months now, we have heard rumors that the team is eagerly looking for to part ways with the former MVP, whose first year in LA was rocky, to put it gently.
But if a trade doesn’t come together, would the team attempt to buy Westbrook out and give him his money in order for him to leave the Lakers?
One NBA insider doesn’t think that will happen.
Ramona Shelburne thinks Russ will refuse buyout
“This is a guy who is very proud, and if you accept a buyout once in your career, you’re seen differently throughout the rest of your career. … If he accepts that, then he’s no longer Russell Westbrook.” https://t.co/lLKMngq2oN
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) September 12, 2022
Ramona Shelburne believes Westbrook would never agree to such a deal:
“This is a guy who is very proud, and if you accept a buyout once in your career, you’re seen differently the rest of your career. If he accepts that, then he’s no longer Russell Westbrook.”
It is true that Westbrook may never want a buyout from the Lakers but it is also true that the Lakers have other options.
We really don’t know what the Lakers will do with Westbrook.
They could still trade him (although that seems increasingly unlikely) or they could relieve him of his starting position.
They could also just bench him for the year, as the Houston Rockets did with John Wall last season.
Finally, the team could choose to try to make it work.
New head coach Darvin Ham has said that he believes in Westbrook and has suggested the star player will still be a starter when the new season begins.
The Lakers don’t want to buy Westbrook out but they are willing to do whatever it takes to get this team working again.