Lakers Could Swap Superstar for $85 Million Wing & $55 Million Big Man, per Exec

russell westbrook anthony davis

Getty Russell Westbrook & Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The NBA season is only a month away from starting and Russell Westbrook is still on the Los Angeles Lakers roster. It’s no secret the team has been shopping him all offseason but they are warming up to the idea of him sticking around for a while. The Lakers don’t want to simply make a trade just to make a trade. They are going to wait for the right deal.

That might end up leading them to the solution that trading Westbrook is merely addition by subtraction. Unless an appealing deal materializes in the coming weeks, the former MVP will be on the roster to start the season. However, that doesn’t mean he’ll end the year in Los Angeles. Sean Deveney of recently spoke to an Eastern Conference executive who believes that the Sacramento Kings could be an option if they get off to a bad start.

“I think, too, if the season gets going and things get off to a rough start somewhere, you can take advantage with a Russ trade,” the executive said. “That is one reason the Lakers are not feeling too much pressure to do this now — there might be a slightly better market once the year gets going. Sacramento is a good example. They come stumbling out of the gate, they will look to get younger. So you can build something that is Westbrook and the 2027 pick for Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes and some salary cap filler, Alex Len and a couple of guys. The Kings want to get off Holmes’ contract, Barnes is still a productive veteran and the Kings can deal with Russ for one year before he expires.”

Westbrook & Kings Have History

Going to the Kings would be rough for Westbrook. It would likely be one of the last places on his wish list to get traded to. During one of his roughest stretches last season, Sacramento trolled him by naming him the “Ice Cold Player of the Game” and the house DJ played the song “Cold As Ice” every time he would miss.

Westbrook clapped back after the game and referenced the fact that the Kings have been one of the worst teams in the NBA for over a decade.

“That’s funny,” Westbrook said at the time. “I hope they played that the last 14 years, too.”

He doesn’t have a say on where he’ll get traded but it’s hard to imagine he’d be thrilled to go to Sacramento.

Westbrook Not Likely to Accept Buyout

If Westbrook does get traded, the odds are that the receiving would prefer to buy him out and move on. That could be a problem as the guard may not be receptive to that idea. According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Westbrook wouldn’t even consider a buyout.

“‘Russell Westbrook is not a buyout guy,” Shelburne said on “The Lowe Post” podcast. “You have to agree to a buyout, and that’s not how he is wired. This is a guy who is very proud, and if you accept a buyout once in your career, you’re seen differently throughout the rest of your career.”

The fact that teams know this about Westbrook might be adding to the difficulty of the trade. From the former MVP’s point of view, it makes sense for him to stand firm and not accept a buyout. This could be his last year in the NBA and a buyout could cut his career off early.

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