Russell Westbrook being waived or sent home not seen as ‘viable option’

The main storylines for the Los Angeles Lakers offseason are who their next head coach will be and what to do with Russell Westbrook.

The two things would be linked as the Lakers asked the candidates how they would use Westbrook if he remained on the roster for the 2022-23 season. It looks like the front office is gearing up for another year with Westbrook if a trade doesn’t materialize by the start of next season.

There are other options to get rid of the guard, such as waiving him or asking him to take time off for the year, but it seems Los Angeles isn’t considering either route, via Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic:

The Russell Westbrook factor continues to loom large here. The candidates were asked to discuss how they would use a roster that includes Westbrook, with Lakers officials operating on the belief that he will be part of their program next season. Westbrook has a player option worth $47 million for the 2022-23 campaign.

As for the prospect of Westbrook being waived or sent home (a la John Wall from Houston last season) if he’s not traded, those aren’t viable options, and all indications are that he will play. With that in mind, the Lakers are focused on hiring a coach who can navigate these types of sensitive situations.

There have been some deals with Westbrook among the media, but so far there has been no traction on the trades as teams prepare for the upcoming 2022 NBA draft. So far, there The Lakers have been reported to be reluctant to give up a large draft fee to offload Westbrook, but with the amount owed to him next year, it would seem difficult to strike a deal without doing so.

Given how badly LA ended the year, bringing Westbrook back should be a non-starter for the front office and it would be in everyone’s interest if they left him. It will be interesting to see how the situation plays out, but it still seems likely that Westbrook won’t be in purple and gold next season.

The Lakers would rather part ways with Russell Westbrook

Throughout the year, much of the talk revolving around the Lakers was about Westbrook’s poor fit with the team. He also didn’t help himself with some of the comments made during his exit interview, giving fans some insight into the toxicity of the situation.

Because of this, reports have surfaced that LA would rather part ways with Westbrook in order to create a fresh start for everyone in the organization.

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