By all accounts, the dynamic between Russell Westbrook and the Los Angeles Lakers has been tense and awkward for the last several months.
The team has repeatedly tried to trade him, but publicly, it has expressed support for him and even given him praise, in particular new head coach Darvin Ham.
It has also appeared that there is tension between Westbrook and LeBron James. James’ camp has reportedly pushed for a Westbrook trade, yet the star guard is expected to appear at his annual players-only mini-camp prior to the team’s official NBA training camp.
Although Westbrook hasn’t publicly asked to be traded, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne said on “The Lowe Post” podcast that he is ‘very open’ to a trade.
With the Lakers’ options for such a trade quickly diminishing, there is a growing feeling that they may simply keep Westbrook and hope for the best with him, while perhaps aiming to trade him closer to the mid-season trade deadline when a better deal may be available.