Russell Westbrook Responds to Question About Potentially Playing for Lakers

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2016

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) walks down the court during a break in the action in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook won't hit free agency until the summer of 2017, but that isn't stopping speculation about where his future may lie.

Per Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman, Westbrook didn't seem to be in any hurry to announce he'd be leaving the Thunder for the team he grew up rooting for:

Rumors and speculation about Westbrook one day joining the Lakers have persisted for a long time, though the star point guard certainly hasn't been driving the conversation. 

Last year, for instance, Lakers fan Snoop Dogg posted a picture on Instagram featuring Westbrook in a Los Angeles jersey:

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith fanned the Westbrook-to-Los Angeles flames in January with these comments during a radio interview on ESPN 710's Mason and Ireland show (via Ryan Ward of

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.

While there are many factors that will determine what Westbrook does when he eventually hits free agency, looking at things as they stand right now with the Thunder and Lakers, why wouldn't the 27-year-old prefer to stay where he is?

The only thing the Lakers can offer right now is a superior media market, which doesn't seem to be much of an issue in this era of sports with every game broadcast on NBA TV.

Westbrook is already one of the league's biggest stars, and he plays for a franchise that currently owns the league's third-best record and doesn't have nearly as many roster questions as the Lakers. 

Things will change in the coming months, as Westbrook's teammate, Kevin Durant, is scheduled to become a free agent this summer, but the guard has given no reason for anyone to think the Lakers have an advantage over the Thunder to sign him when he becomes available.