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Lakers Rumors: LA Has 'Strongly Resisted' Sitting Russell Westbrook amid Trade Buzz

Doric SamAugust 28, 2022

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

Russell Westbrook's future with the Los Angeles Lakers remains a hot topic this offseason.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the trade rumors surrounding the star point guard won't have an effect on his playing time while he's on the team. Sources told Stein that "the Lakers, to date, have strongly resisted the idea of shelving Westbrook completely until they can find a trade for him."

Westbrook's future came in question after the Lakers acquired his rival Patrick Beverley in a trade with the Utah Jazz last week.

On Thursday, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported that the acquisition of Beverley "makes it more likely that Westbrook will be off the active roster by the start of training camp, either through a trade or the team sending him home a la the Rockets with John Wall last season." Buha added that Los Angeles "is still actively pursuing Westbrook deals" ahead of the start of training camp.

Stein noted that if the Lakers are unable to secure a trade for Westbrook before they start practicing Sept. 27, new head coach Darvin Ham "remains determined to carve out a real role" for the 2017 NBA MVP.

Westbrook had a polarizing first year in Los Angeles. He appeared in 78 games and averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists, but there were obvious chemistry issues. Westbrook was routinely taken off the floor in crunch-time situations, raising questions about his effectiveness as the starting point guard.

While Westbrook's days in Los Angeles appear to be numbered, there have been indications that he is still committed to the team. The 34-year-old reportedly had a conversation with fellow stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis earlier this offseason, with each of them agreeing to make it work and try to lead the Lakers back to title contention.

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