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#pounditWednesday, March 29, 2023

Lakers reportedly unlikely to trade Russell Westbrook for 1 big reason

Russell Westbrook warming up

Russell Westbrook seems fairly likely to remain with the Los Angeles Lakers through the Feb. 10 trade deadline for one key reason.

Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times reported this week that opposing trade interest in Westbrook is low, as the former MVP is making $44 million this season and $47 million next season.

Rumors emerged earlier in the week suggesting that Westbrook might be a trade candidate for the Lakers with the deadline just over a month away. The nine-time All-Star is averaging 19.3 points per game this season (his lowest since the 2009-10 season) and has created major fit concerns in L.A.

That said, tanking teams will have little interest in trading assets for a ball-dominant 33-year-old such as Westbrook. Title contenders, meanwhile, will probably not want to acquire a player who would so drastically change the composition of their team in the middle of the season.

Westbrook has been fine for the Lakers for the time being now that LeBron James is playing center lately. That allows the Lakers to run three shooters alongside Westbrook and James to alleviate spacing concerns. But it is still unclear how the Lakers will make it work once Anthony Davis is back from injury (as well as how open the fans will be to Westbrook sticking around).

Photo: Oct 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook prior to the preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


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