The Los Angeles Lakers have three potential trade partners for Russell Westbrook.
While it probably serves Russell Westbrook to play out the final year of his contract, the Los Angeles Lakers do have three suitors for the former NBA MVP point guard in an offseason trade.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported on Monday morning that the Indiana Pacers, the New York Knicks and the Utah Jazz could all be in the mix to trade for Westbrook.
If Westbrook were to be traded, it would mean he would play for his fourth team in as many seasons. The former Oklahoma City Thunder star was traded to the Houston Rockets ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season, to the Washington Wizards ahead of 2020-21 and then to his hometown Lakers ahead of 2021-22. This all came after him signing his massive extension with the Thunder.
It should be noted that Westbrook is no longer represented by long-time agent, Thad Foucher.
Russell Westbrook rumors: 3 trade suitors emerge for the Los Angeles Lakers
As bleak as it may look, the best chance for Westbrook to win an NBA Finals this season is to stay put with the Lakers. He would play third-fiddle to LeBron James and Anthony Davis again, only this time for a new head coach in Darvin Ham. Though he may resemble a closer version of his former self if he were dealt to the Jazz, Knicks or Pacers, all Westbrook is missing is a championship ring.
His basketball legacy is pretty much set. Westbrook was an immense talent and a triple-double machine in his illustrious prime. However, he proved too hard to play with throughout his career, as Westbrook lacked any self-awareness over how much of a ball hog he truly was. It has caused him to be shipped around the league of late on what has been seen as an albatross of a contract.
Ultimately, he would only be going to the Jazz, Knicks or Pacers for one season before fully testing his luck in NBA free agency once more. Though he will have plenty of minutes allocated to him in Indianapolis, New York or Salt Lake, none of those teams feel like they will be anything close to championship-caliber. They could be playoff teams, but all would presumably be one-and-done.
The question remains: Does Westbrook want to collect NBA jerseys or does he want to win a ring?