Right now, the biggest mystery for the Los Angeles Lakers remains whether or not guard Russell Westbrook will remain on the roster for much longer.
For the entire 2022 NBA offseason, rumors regarding Westbrook’s uncertain future have been plenty, and the Lakers are clearly still investigating possible scenarios to part ways with the former MVP.
Still, a lot of those rumors have been based off of partial information. On Tuesday, however, some concrete information came down the pike that could be a major indication of Westbrook’s future. According to a recent report, Westbrook has put his Los Angeles mansion up for sale.
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) September 13, 2022
While this could indeed indicate Westbrook’s intention to leave the Lakers in the near future, it could also indicate nothing of the sort.
After all, NBA stars are some of the wealthiest athletes in the world, and investing in real estate is nothing new for players across the league. In his 14 seasons in the NBA, Westbrook has earned around $288.6 million. Even if he were to be traded by the Lakers, he could almost certainly hold onto his L.A. home if he wanted to do so.
Still, the timing of the news cannot be ignored. The news of the house being put on the market comes just days after a report stated that Westbrook is “very open” to being moved by the Lakers. However, he has not requested a trade from the team.
A different report indicated that Westbrook would refuse a contract buyout if he were offered one by the Lakers or any other team. All that is to say that the Lakers’ only real option right now seems to be trying to find a trade partner that is interested in Westbrook.
The Lakers may need to include some future draft capital to sweeten the pot in a trade.
One perceived trade partner is the Utah Jazz, who are now at the very start of a full rebuild after trading away stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell this summer. The Jazz still have a number of valuable veterans on the team, and the Lakers could try to scalp some of those veterans in exchange for Westbrook and draft picks.
Still, the two sides are reportedly “far apart” in discussions. With that in mind, it is a near certainty that Westbrook’s name has been included in the conversations that the two teams have had.
Whether or not that’s why Westbrook has decided to put his multimillion-dollar home up for sale remains to be seen.