You didn't have to be a basketball savant to realize that adding Russell Westbrook didn't make a lot of sense for the Los Angeles Lakers. They needed wing depth and shooting, not another ball-dominant player next to LeBron James.
The outcome was even worse than predicted. The Lakers were a mess from top to bottom, dealt with injuries, tough luck, and Westbrook never mesh with the rest of the supporting cast, struggling to produce to his usual standards.
That's why, even though he can't be the only person to blame for not even making the playoffs, the Lakers want to make sure that Westbrook isn't on the team next season. For that, they're even willing to part ways with multiple picks.
NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers Are Willing To Give Up Multiple Picks To Get Rid Of Russell Westbrook
“Based on their deadline activity, and everything that I’ve heard dating back to last season, I think the Lakers are going to do everything they can to retain their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks. But if trading one of the picks is the best path to dumping Westbrook and/or significantly improving the roster, I think they will strongly consider it. They are in the win-now business with James and Davis," reported Jovan Buha of The Athletic.
"They are in the win-now business with James and Davis. There is no pushing things off to the following season or the post-James era. Next season will possibly be the Lakers’ best shot at a title this decade — the James-Davis duo isn’t getting any younger or healthier," he added.
Westbrook isn't getting any younger, hasn't found success in the playoffs, and struggled vastly last season. He's also set to make north of $40 million next year, which is why no team would want to trade for him unless they get valuable draft assets.
The Lakers know that their title window is closing as LeBron heads towards the end of his NBA journey. So, don't be shocked if they give up multiple first-rounders just to put together a better team next season.