Woj: Lakers' Russell Westbrook Wants to Have Success in LA Despite Trade Rumors

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 18, 2022

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 05: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on April 05, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, 
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Though many expect the Los Angeles Lakers to move on from Russell Westbrook this offseason, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday on Get Up that the guard would prefer to remain with the team.

"He wants to have success in L.A.," Wojnarowski said of Westbrook (1:00 in video). "This is his fourth team in four years. His family, obviously, that was a big part of this, being able to go back to L.A. He's been an integral part of that community, he grew up there. He doesn't want to bounce around every year."

ESPN's Dave McMenamin reported Saturday that the Lakers have discussed a potential trade with the Brooklyn Nets that would swap Westbrook for Kyrie Irving, but "those talks have not progressed toward an agreement."

According to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, Westbrook has never requested a trade from the Lakers.

Westbrook spent the first 11 years of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he has been traded in each of the last three offseasons with stints for the Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards before coming to Los Angeles.

The nine-time All-Star has seen his production slip in recent years, although last year was especially disappointing. His 1.7 win shares and 15.0 player efficiency rating were both the lowest of his career, per Basketball Reference, and the Lakers were 3.6 points per 100 possessions worse when he was on the court.

As LeBron James and Anthony Davis both missed significant time with injuries, the Lakers struggled to a 33-49 record and didn't make the playoffs.

Westbrook exercised a $47.1 million player option to stay with the Lakers, although his future remains in doubt.

On Friday, the 33-year-old parted with his longtime agent over "irreconcilable differences," per Wojnarowski.

It appears Westbrook would prefer to spend at least another season with the Lakers, but the team might have other plans.