Russell Westbrook trade rumours: Lakers have training camp as ‘soft deadline’ for deal | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors

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The NBA draft is long over and the height of free agency has passed, but a few remaining things need to be ironed out on the Association’s 2022 offseason front.

Namely, there is still the question of where Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook, who has been the subject of trade rumors for months, will play next season.

It’s still unclear, but a report from Jovan Buha of The Athletic pointed to a potential timeline:

“Now for the second question, there will come a time when the Lakers will have to decide if they are ready to continue playing hard and risk missing their window to trade Westbrook. Some feel that training camp is a date. soft limit to move Westbrook If he is on the roster at the end of September, there will be a huge distraction off the pitch, with the media asking questions about his future, his relationship with [LeBron] James and the organization, [new head coach Darvin] Ham’s vision of his role and responsibilities.”

Westbrook, who exercised his $47.1 million player option for the 2022-23 season, averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game in his first year with THE.

According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Lakers, Utah Jazz and New York Knicks discussed a three-team trade that would have involved Westbrook.

Notably, Westbrook would have gone to the Jazz, who would have bought out the rest of his contract. Star Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell reportedly went to the Knicks, among other player moves and picks. The Lakers and Knicks also should have ceded some draft capital to Utah.

That obviously never happened, and now training camp is only a month away.

Westbrook, who was also linked to the Brooklyn Nets in trade talks involving guard Kyrie Irving, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, is still a Laker. If he stays in town, he will try to help the Lakers rebound from a bitterly disappointing 33-49 season two years from an NBA title.

Injuries to stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis left LA shorthanded, and the team rotated through a bunch of different formations as the Lakers couldn’t form much chemistry. Better health and a full offseason together could certainly help bring better days to Los Angeles, even if Westbrook is coming off a down year.

He’s still two years away from averaging a triple-double with the Washington Wizards and can certainly look for something closer to that form in 2022-23.

The regular season will open on October 19.

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