It's becoming more and more apparent that Russell Westbrook will be on the Lakers at the start of next season. Last week, a report by The LA Times Dan Woike indicated that some NBA executives have "no clarity" on what the Lakers are going to do with the misplaced former league MVP.
On Tuesday morning, The Athletic's Jovan Buha, provided some clarity. The Lakers beat reporter stated that at the moment, the front office isn't entertaining any potential Westbrook deals that include any of their remaining first-round picks (2027 & 2029).
"As of now, they have no intention of using a first-round pick to facilitate a Westbrook trade, according to league sources."
Meaning, a Russell Westbrook trade won't be coalescing any time soon since, as Buha also reported, at least one first-round pick has been the initial ask for potentially interested teams.
"Teams have been demanding the inclusion of at least one first-round pick to take on Westbrook’s massive expiring contract, according to league sources. Rival teams know how much of a public trainwreck last season was for the Lakers, and they’re not looking to do Los Angeles any favors by helping them off of Westbrook’s contract."
It seems like the Lakers executives are holding out hope that a new head coach can help get the most out of Westbrook and miraculously morph the Lakers from NBA laughing stock to NBA contender this coming season.
That wouldn't preclude the Lakers from re-engaging in Westbrook trade talks closer to next winter's NBA trade deadline.