The LA Lakers reportedly reached out to at least five franchises in a bid to trade Russell Westbrook. But there have been no trades consummated as the franchise tries to unload his $47.1 million salary. The Lakers were said to be more interested than ever in trading the guard before this season.
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss seems to think differently in regards to the value he adds. NBA analyst Nick Wright largely disagreed with her statement that described Westbrook as the best Laker of the previous season.
Wright said that Russ was the most available player for the franchise, having appeared in the most number of games (78). However, he also said Westbrook was consistently terrible night after night. He said that Buss calling Westbrook the best player over LeBron James was absurd.
“Here’s what Russell Westbrook was for the Lakers: He was the most available player,” Wright said. “Russ was consistent. He was consistently terrible. Every night – you knew it – Russ was gonna show up play 30-plus minutes and be bad. So, I don’t think that’s what she was meaning though and calling him their best player is an absurdity.”
LA Lakers owner Jeanie Buss believes Russell Westbrook was the best Lakers player last season
The LA Lakers are looking to compete for the championship in the 2022-23 season. The franchise acquired the services of Patrick Beverley of the Utah Jazz in a bid to add some defensive power and depth.
Beverley’s signing has pincreased the possibility of a Russell Westbrook trade. However, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, in an interview with The Athletic, described Westbrook as the team’s best player last year.
“All I can say is that, from my point of view, (Westbrook) was our best player last year,” Buss said. “He played pretty much every single game, showed up, worked hard.”
Her statement was met with backlash, and she was forced to clarify. She texted Sam Amick of The Athletic, saying that she ought to have used the word “consistent,” as opposed to having used “best player.”
“The word I should have used was ‘consistent,’” she wrote. “He played 78 games last season.”
Westbrook has seen a steady decline in scoring since he led the league with 31.6 points per game and was the MVP in 2016-17. He averaged 18.5 ppg last season, while LeBron James averaged 30.3 ppg.