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Russell Westbrook Hasn’t Made Final Decision on Player Option, Pelinka Says

Russell Westbrook’s future still remains undecided for next season, says Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka, via The Athletic.

The Lakers guard continues discussions with the team’s front office regarding his player option for next season.

Based on Pelinka’s comments, it sounds like the Lakers want to keep Westbrook on the team next for season if he dedicates himself to being a “defense-first player,” but that the guard remains undecided.

If Westbrook exercises the player option, he will make over $47 million next season.

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Originally, the Lakers were expected to try to trade Westbrook this offseason, especially after the nine-time All-Star struggled on the court in 2021–22. Westbrook, on the other hand, felt like he wasn’t given a “fair chance” in his first season with the team.

But, newly hired head coach Darvin Ham recently said in his introductory press conference that the team is attempting to keep Westbrook on the roster as he is “one of the best players our league has ever seen.”

The Lakers finished 11th in the Western Conference last season with a 33–49 overall record. The team missed the playoffs after winning the title just two seasons ago.

Westbrook finished the season averaging 18.5 points per game, his worst average since the 2009–10 season with the Thunder. Additionally, he averaged 7.4 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 1.0 steals per game.

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