Lakers’ Russell Westbrook Gets Destroyed by NBA Scouts & Executives: Report

Lakers guard Russell Westbrook

Getty Lakers guard Russell Westbrook

The Los Angeles Lakers may have a hard time trading Russell Westbrook this summer.

Not only is the one-time MVP set to make $47,063,478 next season if he picks up his player option, but he was also so bad this campaign that NBA scouts and executives don’t see any use for him.

According to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, some scouts and executives around the league don’t view Westbrook as a useful player anymore.

“To other teams, Westbrook represented a one-year problem on the books as a way to erase long-term commitments to other players,” Woike reported. “Some scouts and executives around the league don’t view Westbrook as a useful player at this stage, especially with a nearly $50 million price tag.”

Westbrook struggled with the Lakers this season. Although he put up solid per-game numbers of 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists, the nine-time All-Star shot only 44.4% from the field, 29.8% from beyond the arc and 66.7% from the free-throw line. Westbrook was also second in the NBA in turnovers, committing 295 in 78 games.

Getting out of Westbrook Business Won’t Be Easy for Lakers

Woike argues that getting out of the Westbrook business won’t be easy for the Lakers, who have to find a new point guard for LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Los Angeles has two routes it can take with Westbrook. The franchise can try to trade him and their 2027 or 2029 first-round pick to a team. With Westbrook’s $47 million coming off the books after next season, the Westbrook contract “acts as sort of an amnesty option for any organizations facing some regretful decisions over the next two or three seasons,” per Woike.

If the Lakers can’t find a Westbrook trade partner, they can also release him.

“The Lakers could simply cut bait and release Westbrook, either using the stretch provision to move his salary cap hit over a handful of seasons or just bite the bullet and deal with it all at once (a far less likely scenario),” Wokie wrote.

What the Lakers can’t do is bring Westbrook back. His lack of shooting skills makes him a poor fit next to LeBron and Davis. Westbrook air-balled and bricked so many wide-open shots this season and LeBron’s teammates could see how discouraged he was by Russ’ play.

Lakers Players Noticed LeBron’s Body Language After Bad Westbrook Play

LeBron said during his exit interview that he enjoyed being teammates with Westbrook. However, according to Woike and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Lakers players saw LBJ’s negative body language after Westbrook either turned the ball over or missed an easy layup.

“Midway through the season, players began to notice James’ body language after poor Westbrook play, an on-court sign of recognition that his and the Lakers’ plan wasn’t going to work,” Woike and Turner reported. “Some Lakers players were bothered by how regularly James’ shoulders would slump and how his head would hang after botched opportunities to score or defend.”

The Lakers have to part ways with Westbrook this summer no matter what. They need a point guard who can shoot and protect the ball.

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