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#pounditThursday, July 7, 2022

Report: Teams making 1 demand in Russell Westbrook trade talks

Russell Westbrook warms up

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

The Los Angeles Lakers want to trade Russell Westbrook this offseason, but that does not mean they are going to facilitate a deal by any means necessary.

Westbrook was not the player the Lakers hoped he would be when they acquired him in a blockbuster trade with the Washington Wizards. His shooting was erratic for much of the year, which resulted in him being benched multiple times by former head coach Frank Vogel. Because Westbrook was such a poor fit, teams that have interest in the star point guard are trying to get the Lakers to include a sweetener in any potential trade. L.A. may not be willing to do that.

According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, teams that are interested in Westbrook have told the Lakers they will only trade for him if they also get at least one first-round pick in return. The Lakers have said they are not going to agree to a deal like that.

Westbrook has a $47 million player option for next season. He will turn 34 in November. Teams are operating under the assumption that the Lakers are desperate to get rid of him, which makes sense. However, a recent report claimed the Lakers are not totally opposed to bringing Westbrook back. Buha says all of that talk is more than just posturing, as some within the franchise believe Westbrook could benefit from a new coach and better supporting cast.

The Lakers reportedly have one standing offer for Westbrook, but they have not pulled the trigger. It seems like they are willing to be patient, at the very least.

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