Lakers Rumors: Westbrook, Role, Ham, Trade Talks, Schröder

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Despite the recent additions of Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schroeder, Russell Westbrook stays on the more and more Lakersroster, according to Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

However, sources tell The Athletic that Westbrook’s role could change, with the team “strongly” considering taking the former MVP of the league off the bench in 2022/23. New head coach Darvin Ham has the organization’s “full support” to set the lineup for the upcoming season, and Westbrook will need to outperform his new teammates during the mini-camp, training camp and preseason to remain the Lakers’ basic guard, writing Buha and Amick.

Unless the Lakers can find a deal that they believe is a legitimate title contender, it is “highly likely” that Westbrook will remain on the roster, sources tell The Athletic.

A big part of that thinking is that the Lakers want to keep their financial and trading options open for ’23/24, when they’re expected to have $30MM+ in cap-room for free agency, per Buha and Amick. Westbrook has an expiring contract worth $47.1 million, and the Lakers are reluctant to trade their 2027 and/or 2029 first-round picks to relieve him.

Here’s more about the Lakers:

  • Los Angeles is counting on Ham to optimize Westbrook’s talent and get through to him in some way Frank Vogel could not — as well as a return to health for Anthony Davis to make the ’22/23 season successful, sources tell Buha and Amick.
  • According to Buha and Amick, the Lakers discussed a four-team swap with the Jazz, Knicks and hornets in front of Donovan Mitchell is being treated to Cleveland, with an early window dispatch Bojan Bogdanovic and Terry Rozier to LA
  • Los Angeles continues to show interest in Bogdanovic, and The Athletic duo reports that Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley are included in recent talks with Utah for Westbrook. However, a deal is considered unlikely for the reasons mentioned above – the Lakers don’t want to part with first-rounders and Clarkson has a $14.3 million player option for ’23/24 that would eat up the team’s potential cap-room.
  • Along the same lines, Buha and Amick write that sharing Westbrook on the… Pacers in front of Buddy Held and Myles Turnerwhich has been rumored several times is also “unexpected” – Hield has a cap hit of $19.3MM in ’23/24.
  • Schröder posted an Instagram post expressing his excitement at returning to the Lakers and saying he “wanted to make it right!” Schröder’s agent, Mark Bartelsteintells Mark Medina of NBA.com (Twitter link) that the team informed Schröder that “there will be many minutes for everyone”, despite a crowded backcourt.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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