What did LeBron James say about Russell Westbrook?
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, LeBron James does not want to play another year with Russell Westbrook as the Pacers enter the equation.
Russell Westbrook is still, at least for now, a Los Angeles Lakers player. It is not easy to shift such a star turn, a 33-year-old of undoubted skill but one who many consider a toxic product who is not good for a long-term project. And even less so when he is set to pocket $47 million next season after the point guard activated his player option. However, the rumours continue to swirl on an issue that was never going to be easy, or swift, to resolve. The situation within the Los Angeles franchise is what it is, and the continuity of a player who has not managed to fit into the Lakers’ playing scheme seems to be a thorny issue that has apparently drawn a response from the Lakers’ biggest star, LeBron James.
“It’s pretty darn clear that LeBron James has seen enough and he has no interest in going another year with Russell Westbrook as his teammate,” ESPN journalist Dave McMenamin told Zach Lowe’s podcast. As such James finds himself in something of an ironic situation as it was he, along with Anthony Davis, who pushed for Westbrook’s arrival at the Lakers. The problem of integrating Westbrook into a positive team dynamic was clear for all to see from the beginning and the point guard has never managed to fit in with LeBron and the rest of the team, who have laid out a lengthy list of complaints: the former Thunder, Rockets and Wizards star does not defend, he does not make triples, he does not know how to play without the ball and he has not found a way to channel his explosiveness into a positive for the team as a whole. Hasty on the offensive and with a disastrous shot selection, Westbrook’s season was a write-off and almost as soon as he joined rumours were circulating that he was on his way out again.
Pacers may offer Westbrook an LA exit strategy
Westbrook’s reputation has plummeted in recent years and few teams will be eager to take a chance on him for nothing: everyone wants something in return. Teams like the Spurs have entered into a hypothetical three-way play that would end with Westbrook being the object of a buyout from the Texans. There has also been plenty of talk around Kyrie Irving and a possible trade for Westbrook, a deal that also remains on standby. The situation in Brooklyn is far from certain and possibly the moves that have been touted previously will no longer be an option.
The Pacers have also entered the equation. Reports suggest Indiana is in negotiations with the Lakers and have offered Westbrook and a first-round pick in exchange for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner, the former a shooting guard who has already been sounded out in the past by the Lakers and the latter a pivot who would fit into the LA schematic. However, talks at this point are at a standstill and will only be revived if the Lakers add another first-round pick. For now, Westbrook remains a Lakers player. And the only thing that is certain at the moment is that LeBron would prefer that he isn’t.