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Westbrook Comments on Lakers, Future with Thunder
Saturday, Feb. 13
Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman provided Westbrook's response to a question about potentially playing for the Lakers:
Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater
A reporter asked Russell Westbrook today if he wants to play for the Lakers https://t.co/FwTiQx30pV2/13/2016, 7:41:13 PM
Knicks Will Have Opportunity to Sign Westbrook in '17
Monday, Feb. 8
Westbrook is intrigued by the New York Knicks, and the team will have a shot to sign him in the summer of 2017 when he becomes a free agent, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Said Wojnarwoski: "The Knicks have a real chance to sell Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook in 2017 – New York and Porzingis has his attention, yes – and Jackson ought to start constructing an elite coaching staff to begin that process with Westbrook and with free agents beyond him."
Possible Reunion with Durant on Another Team in Play
Sunday, Jan. 31
In an interview on ESPN Radio 710's Mason and Ireland (via Ryan Ward of the Examiner), ESPN's Stephen A. Smith reported that not only Durant but also Westbrook may be changing teams in the near future:
Keep in mind this, one of the biggest reasons, I'm told, that Kevin Durant may have the Lakers at the top of his list, is because the Lakers have been led to believe, by whom specifically I do not know, but the Lakers have been led to believe that it is a very good chance that the following year Russell Westbrook is coming.
The first question that comes to mind is whether Durant would even want to play for the Lakers since he'd be the first domino to fall. The franchise may be one of the most successful in NBA history, but its track record in free agency hasn't been all that great in recent years.
Evaluating Westbrook's Future Options
While Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle offer hope for the future, Los Angeles is still a long way from being a true title contender. Durant going to the Lakers would obviously change that and offer a strong incentive for Westbrook to return to his California roots.
Of course, that posits the idea Westbrook would even want to play on the same team as Durant in the future. Although the two don't have an adversarial relationship, Westbrook might relish the opportunity to be the unquestioned star of his own team and not have to share the spotlight with Durant.
Still, Durant and Westbrook's best chance to win an NBA title arguably remains in Oklahoma City, not to mention they could earn more money with the Thunder than any other team.
Hopefully, somebody will ask Westbrook about the Lakers speculation if only to see if he produces the biggest side-eye in recorded human history.
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