Bill Simmons thinks Russell Westbrook will be out of the NBA if his next team buys him out

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

NBA pundit Bill Simmons believes that if Russell Westbrook is dealt from the Los Angeles Lakers and later waived, his NBA career might be over.

Simmons offered his assessment on his podcast by noting that Westbrook is not a fit for neither a rebuilding team nor a championship contender.

“If that trade did happen…I think he’s out of the league,” Simmons said. “I’m not saying that in the Skip Bayless way. I just think he’s the rare kind of guy where if you’re a tanking team or a lottery team, why would you bring him in? All he’s gonna do is try to play 40 minutes a game and put up stats and make you more competitive.

“If you’re a playoff team, I can’t think of a playoff team that he would be additive to. He’s not gonna want to come off the bench.”

Rumors of a potential trade with the Indiana Pacers have circulated in recent months, with the Lakers being linked to guard Buddy Hield and center Myles Turner. The proposed deal has gone through plenty of ups and downs, though it apparently isn’t close to happening anytime soon.

Earlier this year, Hield’s name was brought up in trade talks while he was still with the Sacramento Kings. Westbrook’s name was mentioned in those discussions as well, but the Kings eventually sent Hield to the Pacers.

The most recent roadblock for a deal involves compensation. Westbrook’s stock in the league has dropped enough that picks attached in any deal would seemingly be more valuable to the Pacers.

Just one year ago, Westbrook’s addition to the Lakers was seen as a major boost toward helping the team in its effort to win another title. Instead, issues developed from the start.

Chemistry issues and injury woes

Westbrook’s prolific output from past years was soon forgotten when his inability to establish some chemistry in the starting lineup left the team struggling.

That factor was magnified when injuries to Anthony Davis and LeBron James kept them off the court for extended periods.

The simple fact that the Lakers were reportedly willing to deal Westbrook during the season showed that his status on the team had diminished considerably.

In the end, the dreams of another championship for the Lakers instead evolved into a humiliating absence from the postseason. Making it worse was the fact that the Golden State Warriors regained their previous dominance and ended up winning the 2022 NBA title.

Of course, the opinion of one pundit with no real insight into what’s going on in NBA front offices offers no concrete evidence of Westbrook’s future. Westbrook may eventually be dealt to the Pacers or another team, but for now, he remains with the Lakers.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.