While the uncertainty surrounding Russell Westbrook’s status in Los Angeles has not changed, the Lakers’ big three wanted to get on the same page heading into next season.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Westbrook reportedly had a phone conversation during the first weekend of the NBA Summer League. During that phone call, the three superstars expressed “their commitment to one another” amid trade rumors and an underwhelming finish last season, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports.
Haynes reported that Westbrook has never requested a trade out of Los Angeles. The nine-time All-Star and 2017 League MVP is set to earn $47 million next season before he hits the open market as an unrestricted agent in 2023.
Westbrook has been linked to multiple teams, most notably the Brooklyn Nets, in a possible trade surrounding Kyrie Irving, but The Athletic’s Shams Charania and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shot down any substantial traction on an Irving to L.A. deal earlier this month. That news came three days after Haynes reported the Lakers and Nets were “actively engaged” in Westbrook-Irving trade talks at the time.
Newly hired Lakers Coach Darvin Ham, who was hired in early June, spoke with Marc J. Spears of Andscape earlier this month and said he has a “wholehearted plan” on how to use Westbrook next season. He said he thinks Westbrook will “flourish” with the Lakers.
Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game on 44.4 percent shooting from the field and 29.8 percent shooting from three-point range last season. The Lakers will look to bounce back this season after last year saw L.A. end with an underwhelming 33-49 record and fail to make the playoffs.
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