It’s looking more and more like Russell Westbrook will be on Lakers once 2022-23 season opens up

Jason Simpson
4 Min Read

September is finally here, which means Los Angeles Lakers basketball will return next month.

However, there are still plenty of questions that need to be answered before the regular season begins. Perhaps the biggest question mark that remains is the future of Russell Westbrook.

Of course, Westbrook has been involved in trade rumors all offseason, and after the Lakers traded for Patrick Beverley, it seemed even more likely that the nine-time All-Star would be dealt.

But that hasn’t happened yet, and it’s starting to look like it might not happen at all.

According to a report from NBA insider Marc Stein, if a players-only minicamp organized by LeBron James happens this year, Westbrook will be there.

“The Lakers’ LeBron James typically hosts a players-only minicamp somewhere on the West Coast before training camp starts, so stay tuned,” wrote¬†Stein. “Word is that another Lakers minicamp is likely in coming days and that Russell Westbrook would indeed attend if it comes together. Any sort of pre-camp gathering involving LeBron and his fellow purple-and-gold vets would represent a key step in the Lakers’ efforts to move past all the tension that bubbled throughout last season’s rocky 33-49 campaign, bringing James and Anthony Davis together with Westbrook and the newly acquired Patrick Beverley before the Lakers report for their first practices under new coach Darvin Ham on Sept. 26. As I tweeted last Tuesday just before taking off for EuroBasket, league sources say Westbrook and Beverley have already had some contact as teammates despite their ultra-rocky past, which Beverley confirmed in a subsequent tweet.”

If Westbrook is indeed still with the Lakers when the regular season begins, his relationship with Beverley will be a major storyline to watch.

Of course, the two players have a lot of history, with much of it being ugly. However, it seems like they’ve taken steps to improve their relationship since Beverley was traded to L.A. They’ve reportedly been in contact with each other, which is a good sign.

Ham seems prepared for the possibility of having both Beverley and Westbrook on the roster this season, as the new Lakers coach reportedly has lineups in mind to play the two guards side by side. If that does indeed happen, it’ll be fascinating to see whether or not the two players can coexist on the floor.

Last season, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game. His struggles from beyond the arc were costly, as he knocked down just 29.8 percent of his shots from deep.

Beverley may be able to provide some help in that department, as he’s a career 37.8 percent shooter from 3-point range. He shot 34.3 percent from deep last season.

One way or another, the Lakers figure to be a very entertaining team this season.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.