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“Sometimes people at our jobs don't like us” - Russell Westbrook comes up with a straightforward response when asked if LA Lakers want him on the roster 

Los Angeles Lakers Media Day
Russell Westbrook at Los Angeles Lakers Media Day

Russell Westbrook has vowed to be a professional through the uncertain period he undergoes regarding his future with the LA Lakers. During the media day, when asked if the Lakers wanted him, Westbrook responded with a simple answer. (via Clutch Points on Twitter)

"Whether they want me here or not doesn't really matter, honestly. My job is to be a professional and show up to work like I've always done... We all have jobs that sometimes people at our jobs don't like us or don't want us there."
"Whether [The Lakers] want me here or not doesn't really matter. My job is to be a professional and show up to work like I've always done... We all have jobs that sometimes people at our jobs don't like us or don't want us there."— Russell Westbrookhttps://t.co/bFfFUfNaXZ

The Lakers have actively engaged in trade talks centered around Westbrook. He opted into his $47 million player option this offseason. Moving Westbrook's contract presents a favorable opportunity for the Lakers to acquire quality role players in a trade.

However, potential trade partners have refused to accept Russell Westbrook's contract without draft compensation. The LA Lakers only have two first-round picks (2027 and 2029) to include in a package. So they are patient about finding the right deal.

GM Rob Pelinka discussed the option of including the picks in trade talks, saying:

"We will do everything we can, picks included, to make deals that gives us the chance to help LeBron get to the end. He committed to our organization."
"We will do everything we can, picks included, to make deals that gives us the chance to help LeBron get to the end. He committed to our organization" - Rob Pelinka on trade speculations.#LakersMediaDay#LakersMediaDay https://t.co/QS2Gl0vu3h

Pelinka's comments made it clear that the team would pursue trades by moving Russell Westbrook if there is an opportunity to get significant returns. So far, the Lakers' rumored trade candidates are Buddy Hield, Myles Turner, Jordan Clarkson and Eric Gordon, among others.


Russell Westbrook says he's willing to do what's asked of him to help the LA Lakers

Russell Westbrook may not be in the starting lineup this season. Coach Darvin Ham was non-committal on Westbrook's chances of being the lead point guard. Meanwhile, the former NBA MVP has also revealed his willingness to take up a role that the team needs him to do.

“I’ll do what’s best for the team,” Westbrook said, “and do whatever is asked of me.” (via Mark Medina)
Rob Pelinka says Russell Westbrook has had several meetings with Jeanie, himself, Darvin, etc. He pointed to the ESPN article in which Russ is quoted as being "all in" from last night.

The Lakers have several options in the backcourt. Kendrick Nunn, Patrick Beverley, Dennis Schroder and even Austin Reaves are all starting caliber players. Coach Ham hasn't decided on his starting backcourt yet, but he has mentioned the criteria. He said (via Mark Medina):

“The guys that are going to get the minutes are the guys that are going out there to get stops."
Darvin Ham on if Russell Westbrook is the definitive starter this season? Ham say it’s early but said “we have a lot of options.” https://t.co/qX4RW4gZLv

Russell Westbrook isn't a defensive threat compared to his backcourt partners. However, the former NBA MVP has the potential to be efficient on that end of the floor.

It will be interesting to see the reports that come out of training camp. Several rumors suggest that Ham will decide on the Lakers' starting backcourt during that time.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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