LeBron James, Lakers facing drastic Russell Westbrook decision if he’s not traded
As the new season draws nearer, the prospect of trading away Russell Westbrook is quickly fading away for the Los Angeles Lakers. There just isn’t enough interest in the market for the former league MVP, and at this point, it looks like the Lakers have no other choice but to keep Russ on their team.
Right now, the Lakers already have to be planning for life with Russ still in the mix for 2021-22. According to a league source, LA has a major decision to make on the Westbrook front (via Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report):
“If they’re not trading Westbrook, it’s time to stop tiptoeing around his feelings,” one source explained. “If he has to come off the bench or not play at all, then do what’s best for the team. If his play isn’t resulting in positive contributions, then look at other options.”
That’s one way of looking at it. Then again, this is clearly much easier said than done. Russell Westbrook is an all-time great, and he’s going to be named to the Hall of Fame sooner rather than later. For him to be told that he’s going to be coming off the bench at this point in his career isn’t likely going to sit well with the former league MVP.
Nevertheless, this is the harsh reality Westbrook is facing right now. Based on what we’ve seen from him last season, it does seem like he would provide much more value for LeBron James and the Lakers if he were to come off the bench. This becomes even more obvious now that Patrick Beverley is in the mix.
The question, however, is whether or not Russ will be amenable to this drastic change.