The Los Angeles Lakers have a $AUD70 million greenback headache hanging overhead and his identify is Russell Westbrook.
Commerce rumours have been circling the 2017 MVP winner like sharks after they odor blood within the water and so they’re not going away anytime quickly.
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All through everything of the NBA low season Westbrook was closely rumoured to be departing Los Angeles with the franchise trying to construct a greater roster round LeBron James.
Westbrook is owed an absurd wage for the 2022/23 season, hamstringing the Lakers talents to construct round James and Anthony Davis.
After an low season the place many believed Westbrook’s worth had hit an all-time low, the star guard has turned issues round in current weeks.
A shift to a bench position has revitalised the triple-double beast and supplied a a lot wanted spark to the dire Lakers season.
Westbrook’s acceptance of his new position after months of reluctance has confirmed he is usually a precious asset to a contending crew off the bench.
“Russ must preserve this up and all people goes to be on physique language watch, phrases watch, scale of 1-10 how surly are the press conferences watch – all of that stuff,” Locked on Lakers’ Andy Kamenetzky mentioned.
“It’s probably going to be a kind of issues the place a crew could ask for permission to speak to Russ or his agent. You’re going to need to discover out … was this he’s in LA attempting for no matter cause make it work with this crew, as a result of he needed to avoid wasting face with the Lakers?
“Or has ‘Russ’ purchased into this as a profession path shifting ahead, or if nothing else, on a aggressive crew this season.
“As a result of in the event you actually really feel the intel is strong that the intel is sure, then yeah, Russ could have really elevated his sensible commerce worth across the league.
“The best way he’s taking part in proper now, he might assist any crew within the league as a bench participant.”
The Lakers have reportedly held discussions with the Indiana Pacers in a bundle that might ship Myles Turner and Buddy to Los Angeles, talks have been additionally held with the Utah Jazz however after stunning begins these talks haven’t gone any additional.
One transfer the Lakers could possibly be eyeing off centres round a 10-year star who has a heap of upside and would match higher alongside James and Davis.
“A star participant whom the Lakers are identified to covet is Washington Wizards capturing guard Bradley Beal,” Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes wrote.
“Going after the 10-year veteran would solely be an choice if Beal have been to request a commerce, a tactic he has been reluctant to train.”
The Lakers have been linked with Beal beforehand with The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor revealing the franchise needed to ship Westbrook and two picks to the Wizards for Beal.
Beal signed a supermax extension in July, price a gargantuan $AUD379 million, with a no-trade clause within the contract.
It means solely Beal can request a commerce away from the Wizards and may decide the place he needs to go.
The bigger query nonetheless is why would Beal need to depart the at present 6-6 Wizards, sitting sixth within the Japanese Convention, to affix the 2-9 Lakers who’re second final within the Western Convention.
The Wizards, as thrilling as they’ve been within the early levels of the season, aren’t a bonafide contender and whereas the Lakers aren’t both the transfer to Los Angeles would assist enhance Beal’s star and open up even larger avenues so as to add to his checking account.