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It’s looking increasingly like Russell Westbrook will open the growing season with the LA Lakers.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported the Lakers haven’t been content with the offers they’ve received for the 2017 NBA MVP.
“In line with the executives I’m speaking with, they think that the Lakers attended to the final outcome they are not likely to trade Westbrook now since they don’t like some of their offers and they are going to make an effort to make the very best of it and see what goes on. That’s what the executives think,” he said on Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective (59: 15 mark).
The Lakers spent a lot of the offseason watching the Brooklyn Nets’ drama unfold, hoping Kyrie Irving would become offered by a discount. Their likelihood of landing Irving evaporated when Kevin Durant rescinded his trade request last month.
The Indiana Pacers also have long been seen as a potential suitor for Westbrook, dangling a package of Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the Lakers have refused to add two future first-round picks to dump Westbrook’s contract in a Pacers deal.
Although it appeared Westbrook’s poor on-court match LeBron James and Anthony Davis would lead the Lakers to create any trade they might find, their front office seemingly remains bullish on the trio.
New head coach Darvin Ham went out of his solution to praise Westbrook, and governor Jeanie Buss made waves having an interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic where she called him the Lakers’ “best player” last season, though she later clarified to Amick that she should’ve used the term “consistent”:
“All I could say is that, from my perspective, (Westbrook) was our best player this past year. He played almost every single game, arrived, worked hard. You understand, I’d have loved to possess seen what this team could have looked like should they stayed healthy. It is tough to win when Anthony Davis isn’t on the court. LeBron was hurt most of the season. But Russ arrived every game and played hard every evening. And, you understand, I simply really appreciate him for who he could be and what he brings to the team.”
Everybody who watched the Lakers play last season would disagree with the “best player” categorization, but we’re not the people running the business. All it requires is one team to trust Westbrook continues to be a star, and it’s really becoming more and more apparent the Lakers are that team.