Is Russell Westbrook’s future with Lakers in jeopardy?


Russell Westbrook has an uncertain future with the Los Angeles Lakers after the franchise acquired veteran guard — and Westbrook nemesis — Patrick Beverley from the Utah Jazz.

Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported this week that the Lakers are expected to trade Westbrook or have him not play.

“Beverley’s arrival makes it more likely that Westbrook will be off the active roster by the start of training camp, either through a trade or the team sending him home à la the Rockets with John Wall last season, according to a source close to the situation,” Buha wrote.

The deal to acquire Beverley, which sent Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to Utah, came in the wake of the Brooklyn Nets announcing that Kevin Durant will be staying put. The announcement likely means the same for Kyrie Irving, who was frequently linked to the Lakers in trade discussions this offseason.

Beverley, 34, spent the 2021-22 NBA season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He averaged 9.2 points, 4.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting 40.6%/34.3%/72.2%. Beverley was part of Minnesota’s trade package for Jazz center Rudy Gobert.

And at this point in time, Skip Bayless, co-host of “Undisputed,” said he sees Beverley as more valuable for the Lakers than Westbrook.

“That indicated to me that maybe something was brewing,” Bayless said of the trade. “The skids had been greased to get rid of Russ. Maybe they got a deal on the front burner for Russ to go because I don’t think it’ll work between the two of them, let alone the fact that now Patrick is going to take some, if not a whole lot, of Russ’ minutes. 

“As God is my witness, what I believe here is Patrick Beverley right now is better than Russell Westbrook. He’s more valuable in so many ways. He’s a lot better three-point shooter. He’s a better playmaker. … He doesn’t make spectacular plays, but he makes all the right plays.”

Does Beverley trade signal end of Westbrook-Lakers era?

Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless share what they believe will happen with Russell Westbrook and the Lakers next season.

Los Angeles acquired Westbrook from the Washington Wizards in 2021. He and the Lakers went 33-49 last season, missing the Western Conference playoffs. Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4%/29.8%/66.7%.

With another potential lead guard in the mix (Beverley), how do head coach Darvin Ham and the Lakers make the pieces fit? 

Shannon Sharpe doesn’t see the Lakers telling Westbrook to go home, anticipating either a trade or a buyout.

“I find it just so hard for me to believe that the Lakers would just send him home à la John Wall,” Sharpe said. “I believe the Lakers can trade Russ. His agent said basically, ‘You’re going to have to throw in that extra pick.’ The only way Russ gets traded for is this: He and his agent are going to have to agree to, ‘You’re getting bought out. We’re trading for you to buy you out.'”

Los Angeles has signed Lonnie Walker, Thomas Bryant, Troy Brown, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones this offseason.


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