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Lakers Rumors: Russell Westbrook Trade, Signing Doesn't Interest Mavericks

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 22, 2022

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks aren't expected to be a suitor for Russell Westbrook, either as trade partners or in a free-agent signing, if the 33-year-old is bought out this year.

"So you guys told me that you heard [Dallas might be a fit for Westbrook] and I checked in. I got a very quick, 'Hell no,'" ESPN's Tim MacMahon said on Friday's The Hoop Collective (49:25 mark).

Whether Westbrook will be traded this summer, and where he ends up, remains one of the major storylines of the NBA offseason, alongside the future destinations for players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Donovan Mitchell.

Westbrook had a disastrous first year with the Lakers, averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists while shooting just 44.4 percent from the field, 66.7 percent from the free-throw line and 29.8 percent from three.

His inability to space the floor off the ball, his poor defense and his struggles fitting in with LeBron James and Anthony Davis—and his inability to carry the Lakers' offense when that pair was out injured—played a major part in the team's 33-49 record and lackluster overall season.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on Monday that James, Davis and Westbrook "huddled up on a phone conversation the first weekend of NBA Summer League in Las Vegas with each expressing their commitment to one another and vowing to make it work."

But Westbrook's longtime and now-former agent, Wasserman's Thad Foucher, suggested after the sides parted ways that Westbrook wanted to move on from the Lakers, while he thought the veteran point guard should try to make it work for one more season in Los Angeles.

Given that Westbrook is set to make $47 million this upcoming season, a trade won't be simple.

As for the Mavericks, the team did lose impactful point guard Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks in free agency this summer, but it's hard to see how a ball-dominant player like Westbrook would fit next to ball-dominant superstar Luka Doncic.

Westbrook struggled alongside James. Playing off the ball in Dallas while Doncic works his magic seems like an arguably worse fit, even if Westbrook eventually becomes available on the buyout market.

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