NBA execs think Lakers won’t trade Russell Westbrook, will try to make things work because they don’t like their offers

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

A belief reportedly exists among NBA executives that the Los Angeles Lakers will hold onto Russell Westbrook, largely because they’ve seen no viable trade offers.

Brian Windhorst stated (at the 59:15 mark) on his podcast that the Lakers will simply make an effort to make the situation work.

“Based on the executives I’m talking to, they believe that the Lakers have come to the conclusion that they are not going to trade Westbrook now because they don’t like any of their offers and they’re going to try to make the best of it and see what happens,” Windhorst said. “That’s what the executives think.”

The Lakers acquired Westbrook last year and envisioned the prolific veteran guard as a player who could help them capture another NBA title.

While injuries to both Anthony Davis and LeBron James delivered major blows to those championship hopes, Westbrook’s struggles to fit in with his new team were also quickly evident.

In the weeks leading up to last season’s trade deadline, Westbrook was available to teams. However, no team chose to acquire him, and the Lakers ended up finishing the season by missing the playoffs entirely.

Unable to make a deal

During this offseason, other efforts regarding trading Westbrook have been pursued. Most notably, talks with the Brooklyn Nets and Indiana Pacers have gone nowhere.

As a result of the their failure to reach the postseason, the Lakers dismissed former head coach Frank Vogel in favor of Darvin Ham. After Ham was hired, he indicated that he was looking to use Westbrook more creatively and offered verbal support for the embattled guard.

The immediate road ahead

How Ham goes about the process of using Westbrook to the best of his abilities will start to take shape later this month. That’s when the Lakers’ training camp opens, with the regular season getting underway next month.

Ham has reportedly sought to instill a “defense-first” mentality in Westbrook, who’s made his name in the past by delivering on offense. The success of that effort may not be seen for a while, but given the Lakers’ lack of options, they have little room to consider anything else.

Westbrook is in the final year of his current contract, which presumably means that he needs to have a major year to obtain another big deal.

If Westbrook continues to struggle during the course of the upcoming campaign, the Lakers may simply decide to release the veteran. That would be a painful financial pill to swallow, but may end up being the only choice.

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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.