Lakers Rumors: Execs Think Russell Westbrook Won't Be Traded, LA Doesn't Like Offers

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 8, 2022

MALIBU, CALIFORNIA - JULY 04:  Russell Westbrook attends the “Red, White & Bootsy July 4th Party” presented by Revolve & The h.wood Group at Nobu Malibu on July 04, 2022 in Malibu, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for The h.wood Group)
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for The h.wood Group

It's looking increasingly like Russell Westbrook will open the season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported the Lakers have not been satisfied with the offers they've received for the 2017 NBA MVP.

"Based on the executives I'm talking to, they believe that the Lakers have come to the conclusion that they are not going to trade Westbrook now because they don't like any of their offers and they're going to try to make the best of it and see what happens. That's what the executives think," he said on Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective (59:15 mark).

The Lakers spent much of the offseason watching the Brooklyn Nets' drama unfold, hoping Kyrie Irving would become available at a discount. Their chances of landing Irving evaporated when Kevin Durant rescinded his trade request last month.

The Indiana Pacers have also long been viewed as a potential suitor for Westbrook, dangling a package of Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the Lakers have refused to include two future first-round picks to dump Westbrook's contract in a Pacers deal.

While it appeared Westbrook's poor on-court fit with LeBron James and Anthony Davis would lead the Lakers to make any trade they could find, their front office seemingly remains bullish on the trio.

New head coach Darvin Ham has gone out of his way to praise Westbrook, and governor Jeanie Buss made waves with an interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic where she called him the Lakers' "best player" last season, though she later clarified to Amick that she should've used the word "consistent":

"All I can say is that, from my point of view, (Westbrook) was our best player last year. He played pretty much every single game, showed up, worked hard. You know, I would have loved to have seen what this team would have looked like if they stayed healthy. It's really tough to win when Anthony Davis isn't on the court. LeBron was hurt a lot of the season. But Russ showed up every game and played hard every night. And, you know, I just really appreciate him for who he is and what he brings to the team."

Nearly everyone who watched the Lakers play last season would disagree with the "best player" categorization, but we're not the ones running the organization. All it takes is one team to believe Westbrook is still a star, and it's becoming increasingly apparent the Lakers are that team.