The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked with Russell Westbrook ever since Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder. According to the latest NBA rumors, the Lakers are not going to trade for Westbrook because they “think they can sign him” next summer.
In an appearance on MSG, Chris Broussard of ESPN mentioned that he talked with some NBA executives and the Lakers reportedly think they have a big chance to sign Westbrook via free agency.
“The Lakers think they can sign Westbrook. I was talking to some people, some executives yesterday about possible trades they might do, or offer, and I was told they think they can sign him as a free agent. So, why should they give up anything?” Broussard said, as transcribed by Bleacher Report.
Of course, the Lakers will think that they have the best chance to sign Westbrook because he is from Los Angeles. And if the Summer League is any indication, the young guns of LA are going to be fun to watch next season.
The allure of returning home would be too much to pass up for the 27-year-old point guard. The Lakers will also have the right combination of young players and veterans to become playoff contenders. Waiting for him via free agency makes more sense than trading valuable pieces of the team’s future just to get him.
However, there would be teams such as the Thunder and the New York Knicks that will have a shot in signing Westbrook. Bleacher Report pointed out that the Thunder have the leverage to offer their superstar the most money.
OKC is one of the best organizations in the NBA and they could always build a contender around Westbrook. Nevertheless, the Lakers will be monitoring the situation for sure as adding a top-five player like “Russ” would make them a destination again.