He has been linked to several teams this summer but no deal has materialized so far. At the same time, anything Westbrook does off the court has led to rumors linking him with a move to a particular city or team.
In other news, seven-time champion Robert Horry has suggested that Shaquille O'Neal's son Shareef O'Neal doesn't have the mentality to grab what he wants. Elsewhere, LeBron James and Golden State Warriors veteran Draymond Green were seen partying together in Toronto.
Now let's take a look at some rumors involving the Purple and Gold in the last 24 hours.
LA Lakers might move Russell Westbrook at the trade deadline instead of the offseason
Russell Westbrook is unlikely to stay in Los Angeles for long. Even if the LA Lakers are unable to trade him this summer, they will likely try even harder to do so at the trade deadline in February 2023.
If that doesn't work, then it's almost written in stone that Westbrook's contract will not be extended. His days in his hometown could be numbered and many rumors have suggested that the former MVP himself wants to move on.
An anonymous NBA agent spoke to Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus and he reported the agent's words, writing:
"'He'll become easier to trade closer to the deadline [with the Lakers responsible for more than half of his 2022-23 salary]. That’s a lot less money for an owner to spend on,' the agent said."
"Teams are more realistic on where they stand at that point. Other players become unhappy. Some may become available that [simply] aren’t right now."
Westbrook's new agent has a history of big contract buyouts
Russell Westbrook parted ways with his longtime agent, Thad Foucher of Wasserman, last month after 14 years. The two separated after citing "irreconcilable differences" as the reason and one of them was reportedly Brodie's future in LA.
Westbrook has now joined forces with Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, who has a history of huge contract buyouts.
Schwartz has been involved in several buyouts in the league involving players such as Deron Williams, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and Andre Drummond. The most recent addition to that list was Kemba Walker.
In fact, most of the major buyouts in the last few years have involved the man from Excel Sports. Westbrook signing with him has ignited rumors that the LA Lakers guard might be heading into a contract buyout sooner or later.
Julius Randle continues to be linked to the LA Lakers but many analysts feel its a long shot
Julius Randle was linked to the LA Lakers this offseason after rumors surfaced that the New York Knicks are interested in Donovan Mitchell. Many analysts previously believed that a Randle-Westbrook swap could be possible, but are now suggesting that it's a far-fetched idea.
Regardless, the trade rumor is out there and makes sense for both sides in some ways. The Knicks will get a veteran playmaker who can elevate them into playoff contention while the Lakers would get a young forward who can defend.
NBA journalist Marc Stein initially reported:
"A very plugged-in person in the league told me … If Donovan Mitchell we’re to end up with the Knicks, there could be talks between the Knicks and the Lakers involving Julius [Randle]."
It will be interesting to see if the Knicks can indeed acquire Mitchell and whether that will re-ignite rumors linking Randle to LA.
Q. Will Russell Westbrook return in an LA Lakers jersey next season?