NBA insider thinks Russell Westbrook would reject buyout if Lakers offered one
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NBA insider Ramona Shelbourne thinks Russell Westbrook being bought out is not an option since she doesn't think that the former NBA MVP would ever agree on a buyout. The Lakers have been trying to trade Westbrook since the start of the offseason, but their attempts so far have been unsuccessful.
One of the big reasons why Westbrook hasn't yet been traded is his $47 million deal for this upcoming season. Since the Lakers haven't been able to find a trade partner and it doesn't appear likely that they will, there are two options - to either keep and play Westbrook or to try to agree on a buyout.
“Russell Westbrook is not a buyout guy,” Shelburne said during a recent podcast appearance, per Lakers Daily. “You have to agree to a buyout, and that’s not how he is wired. This is a guy who is very proud, and if you accept a buyout once in your career, you’re seen differently throughout the rest of your career.
Russ is Russ because of his swagger and the way he bleeds with it, the way he plays with it. You can’t retreat from that. You can’t let go of that because that’s what made Russ, Russ — it’s his swagger.
If he accepts that, then he’s no longer Russell Westbrook”.
Westbrook's first year in Los Angeles was a disaster
Recently, Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal was asked what went wrong for Westbrook last season. According to O'Neal, Westbeook was showing too much respect for LeBron James and wasn't playing his usual aggressive game.
"He was just being too nice. I don’t know the relationship between him and LeBron, but if you put that down on paper and I don’t know nothing about basketball, that’s a hell of a backcourt, Russell Westbrook and Lebron James.
Why it didn’t work, I don’t know, but watching him play, he was super passive. I don’t need you to be passive, I need you to play your game." O'Neal told UPROXX. The Lakers have contacted multiple teams over a potential Westbrook trade, but they haven't been willing too attach too much of their draft capital.
The Lakers don't want to give up their draft capital, while other teams don't want to take on Westbrook's $47 million contract for this season.