Since the Los Angeles Lakers moved Russell Westbrook to a bench role, he has become a highly impactful member of the rotation, giving exceptional effort on both sides of the court.

According to a Western Conference executive, who spoke with Heavy on Sports’ Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, if the star guard remains with the Lakers throughout the final year of his contract, there’s a possibility that Rob Pelinka would look to re-sign him in free agency – if Westbrook would take a significant pay cut.


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“No one likes to admit a mistake. Look, they had chances to just dump the guy if they wanted to, but if they did that, if it was an addition-by-subtraction thing, they would be saying, ‘Yeah we really messed up.’ They gave up (Kyle) Kuzma and KCP (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) for the guy, and you see how much they miss guys who can play their roles, especially KCP. He is exactly what they need. So they have been gun-shy about getting rid of Westbrook because it’s egg on their face if they do.

So it is not crazy that they could sign him, at a much lower number than what he has this year. He is not going to have a market next year, not with all that has gone on in the past two seasons. Can he get a taxpayer midlevel (expected to be $7 million), even? What team is going to give him that right now? So if he stays in L.A. for that kind of contract, yeah that could happen, but it would have to be a very lowball deal,” The executive said.

Westbrook has operated as the Lakers’ sixth man for the past 10 games and has been thriving as a result, averaging 17.5 points, 8.5 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting 43.6% from the field and 39.5% from deep. 

Westbrook’s Improvements Have Other Teams Interested

On November 10, Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported that teams around the league are starting to take notice of Westbrook’s improved performances, and the Lakers’ phone has been ringing as a result.

Inside the critical decisions for the Lakers, how it could prompt key players to sour on the direction of the franchise, and LeBron James’ unwillingness to stand pat and …read more



Lakers Could Re-Sign Westbrook in Free Agency: Sources

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