Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook has been the subject of trade rumors for most of the offseason after a down season in the 2021-22 campaign.
The Lakers have yet to find a deal for Westbrook, who is entering the final season of his contract in the 2022-23 campaign. Westbrook will make north of $47 million this season.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, who has played plenty of important games against Westbrook, defended the former MVP recently.
“Who wouldn’t ask for Russell Westbrook?” Green said after being asked whether he believes LeBron James asked for Westbrook to be traded to the Lakers. “You’d be out of your mind not to ask for Russell Westbrook.”
Westbrook, a nine-time All-Star, finished the 2021-22 season with averages of 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 29.8 percent from beyond the arc.
It certainly wasn’t the best season of Westbrook’s career, and Green thinks that’s because the guard isn’t a good fit alongside the rest of L.A.’s roster.
“It’s a terrible fit,” Green said. “I 100 percent think the fit is terrible. I don’t think you could talk to Russell Westbrook right now and Russell Westbrook wouldn’t think the fit is terrible.”
Despite that, Green seemingly believes the Lakers made the right call by trading for Westbrook because of the amount of potential the deal carried.
“Nonetheless, just because the fit is terrible don’t mean you don’t go for it,” Green said. “Because guess what, if you go for it and it works, then you got a championship.”
“If you can get Russell Westbrook, you get Russell Westbrook and try to make that work because if it works, who is going to stop you?”
Green also commented on the fact that Westbrook’s contract is expiring, which may make him easier to trade. However, the Lakers have yet to find a worthy deal involving Westbrook this offseason.
Los Angeles would likely need to incentivize a team to take on the final season of Westbrook’s contract by adding draft capital to the deal. However, if Los Angeles doesn’t receive quality players in return, it may be better off keeping Westbrook on the roster.
Even though he didn’t have a great season in the 2021-22 campaign, Westbrook could tweak his game under new Lakers head coach Darvin Ham and help the team win a title in the 2022-23 season.