Stephen A. Smith: Russell Westbrook 'Practically Wants to Be Gone' from Lakers

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVOctober 26, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 23: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on October 23, 2022 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers and Russell Westbrook both want a fresh start with a trade, according to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.

"He knows they want him gone," Smith said on NBA Countdown. "From what I'm hearing, he practically wants to be gone, but they can't just let him go for nothing."

The Lakers are 0-3 to start the season, with Westbrook averaging just 10.3 points per game on 28.9 percent shooting from the field. He suffered a hamstring injury in the last game and was listed as doubtful for Wednesday's matchup with the Denver Nuggets.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Westbrook is expected to come off the bench when he returns.

The veteran has been opposed to this idea, saying being out of the starting lineup in a preseason game is what initially caused his hamstring injury.

"I've been doing the same thing for 14 years straight," Westbrook told reporters. "Honestly, I didn't even know what to do pregame."

The 33-year-old has started every regular-season game he's played since his rookie year in 2008-09.

While Westbrook seemingly wants out, the Lakers reportedly want to stay patient before making a decision.

According to Charania, the front office is determined to wait 20-to-25 games to assess the roster before making any deal.

If the Lakers continue to struggle, however, they might be forced to make a move earlier than planned.