Russell Westbrook had a very rough season last time out with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was brought to the Lakers to free up the burden on LeBron James but that unfortunately has not worked well for the Purple and Gold army. Many people thought Westbrook was the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle for the Lakers after LeBron and Anthony Davis. But last season nothing went right for them as they failed to qualify for the playoffs.
After last season, the team management have actively looked to move Westbrook to some other team in exchange for something else as they look to build more chemistry around the team. However they have not managed to seal a deal for Westbrook as nothing till now has satisfied the demands of the Lakers in the offseason.
According to NBA Insider Ramona Shelburne, Westbrook is on the verge of accepting a buyout if he was dealt to another team. Shelburne explained about it in the recent Zach Lowe podcast. She shared how this entire thing is so uncharacteristic of Russell Westbrook that we know.
Russell Westbrook is not a buyout guy. 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,” SHelburne shared.
She highlighted how this will totally be something different from Westbrook as a player or even as a person. She added, “Russ is Russ because of his swagger and the way he bleeds with it, the way he plays with it. You can’t retreat from that. You can’t let go of that because that’s what made Russ, Russ – it’s his swagger. If he accepts that, then he’s no longer Russell Westbrook.”
It is understandable that Westbrook is not willing to walk away from from a $47 million salary next season. At this point of his career especially after last season’s dip in form and shooting stats, it will be very hard for the point guard to get anything even close to that range.
Also with arch rival Patrick Beverley in the team now, Westbrook hardly has any future with the Lakers right now. It will be a career defining season for him and it will test his character and nerves.