The Los Angeles Lakers They’re no closer to swapping star guard Russell Westbrook now than they were at the start of free agency, and while that may change before the season begins, the Los Angeles stars are at least preparing for the possibility of playing together again next season. LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook reportedly had a phone conversation where the three expressed their “commitment to each other” in the hopes of making it a success for next season, Per Chris Haynes.
This may sound as though Westbrook could be the Laker again next season, but the call was made to make sure all three players still had the same goal in mind while on the team together, per Haynes. It is also possible that it was organized to stifle any reports indicating this LeBron and Westbrook’s relationship was ‘frostyEspecially after they both attended LA summer games in Las Vegas and didn’t interact once despite sitting across from each other.
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This report is the latest in what has been a turbulent season for the Lakers, which ended in a disappointing fashion. Los Angeles failed to hold the playoffs, or even secure a place to play, as Westbrook didn’t fit into the team as the team had envisioned. Injuries to James and Davis hampered any chemistry the trio tried to build, and at the end of the season, the Lakers fired head coach Frank Vogel just two years after winning the championship.
Darvin Hamm has been brought in to replace Vogel, and as much as the new coach has talked about Westbrook being an important part of the team’s success for next season, the former league’s best player has grown up in trade scenarios all summer. The most prominent trade package sees Westbrook heading east to Brooklyn Networks In exchange for Kyrie Irving, who would be better suited to the Lakers. However, it has been reported on multiple occasions that the Nets are not interested in Westbrook’s expiring $47 million contract next season, and will require a third team to participate if the Lakers want Irving, Per Mark Stein.
And on top of that, Westbrook recentlyThad Foucher on irreconcilable differences. Foucher has been Westbrook’s agent since entering the league, and said in a statement that he believes a deal from the Lakers — which would require the L.A. to attach more assets to entice teams to take them — only serves to reduce Russell’s value. “
With no concrete business avenues now opening up for the Lakers, it makes sense for the team to also prepare to have Westbrook on the team again next season. If so, L.A. will have to hope that Westbrook can adapt his playing style to better suit LeBron and Davis.