Report: Lakers receiving calls about Russell Westbrook’s availability due to his emergence in 6th man role

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

After failing to get serious inquiries for Russell Westbrook, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly starting to see flickers of interest from other NBA teams about a possible deal.

Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report looked at the struggling Lakers’ attempts to improve their roster, with Westbrook’s contributions thus far getting noticed.

“With Russell Westbrook thriving in his new role as a sixth man, the Lakers are now receiving calls about his availability, sources say, but talks are not at a serious stage,” Haynes wrote.

Last year, the Lakers acquired Westbrook in a blockbuster deal that seemed to make them a strong contender for another deep playoff run. However, chemistry issues involving Westbrook and key injuries resulted in the Lakers not even reaching the postseason.

It was during last season that the Lakers began to pursue sending Westbrook elsewhere but ultimately came up empty. Efforts during the offseason and into the new campaign also fell short, forcing new head coach Darvin Ham to find a role for Westbrook.

In his 10 games this season, Westbrook has started three games and is averaging 16.1 points, 6.3 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.

When the Lakers dealt for Westbrook, they weren’t expecting to use him in the role of sixth man. Yet, even with his improved productivity, the 2-9 Lakers continue to struggle on the court.

One of the likely reasons why teams haven’t been clamoring to acquire Westbrook is his steep price tag for this season. He’s making $47.1 million in the final season of his contract.

Westbrook, who turns 34 on Saturday, isn’t likely to get anywhere near that amount if he’s either re-signed by the Lakers or leaves for another team.

The Lakers have been reluctant to include the 2027 and 2029 first-round picks they have to make any deals. Whether the team’s front office changes its mindset in that approach remains to be seen.

Multiple first-round selections were part of the deal to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019. Making the Lakers’ struggles this season more painful is the fact that the Pelicans have the right to switch draft spots in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft.

Trading Westbrook won’t solve the issues plaguing the current edition of the Lakers. However, it could allow them to begin trying to fashion a roster that gets the franchise back to consistently winning.

The Lakers are set to begin a four-game homestand on Friday night when they host the Sacramento Kings at Arena.

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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.