Anthony Davis, Donovan Mitchell, and more

Lakers fans may not want to read this, but according to Russell Westbrookhopes to bring her back next season in Los Angeles:

Westbrook wants to restart it and see what the Lakers can do to improve health. That’s the plan, but we promised nothing,” Ross said. “As I’ve said all season: you have to play the cards that have been dealt. Yes – we want to be able to see what that would look like, and what that would entail over the course of an 82-game season. But we’re not sure if that’s guaranteed either. So. I just hope we will have the opportunity to be able to do something in the future.”

The odds of that happening are slim, of course, as the Lakers will undoubtedly be shopping their expensive and aging guards this summer in hopes of upgrading the roster around James and Davis.

However, according to reports, James is not quite out of this, like Ovarian Report He said this week that some of the blame internally in Los Angeles lay at James’s feet to pressure the team to trade with the previous league’s best player:

The hype around the league indicates that general manager Rob Pelinka has another year to get the Lakers back on track. Internally the blame appears to be centered on injuries, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James to pressure the team to trade with Westbrook.

It’s hard to completely blame James for that, like Rob Pelinka and Co. They could simply have told MVP four times “no” and proceeded with the takeover attempt Friends Hield or Demar DeRozan.

Regardless, according to Stein, the Lakers will have more options to trade in Westbrook this summer, as the Charlotte Hornets, with their two expensive contracts of their own, could be suitor to the double-double machine:

Charlotte has been increasingly mentioned by league insiders as a team to watch on the Westbrook front. All-star guard LaMelo Ball is completely disguised as the Hornets’ face of the franchise and a star on the ball, but one of the tour-making scenarios is the belief that the Hornets could emerge with Westbrook’s interest in the name of creating some financial flexibility. Gordon Hayward has two seasons left on his $120 million four-year contract and has appeared in just 49 of Charlotte’s 79 games this season. Terry Rozier has done well this season, with an average PER of 17.36, but next season is his first in four years, $97 million.

Stein also mentioned the possibility of reopening Los Angeles talks with the Houston Rockets on Westbrook-for-John Wall A trade off, plus the Lakers now have a 2029 first-round pick to use as a sweetener as the purple and gold franchise ways to move from Westbrook:

The Lakers gain the ability to trade an additional first-round option in the future in 2029 in July after only getting 2027 first to shop by the deadline, increasing their selections with Houston or another potential trading partner. It’s also conceivable that the Rockets, so tired of their own saga with Wall, could reduce their demands (two second rounds?) with Wall and Westbrook both entering the final year of their current contracts. Unless the Rockets think they can trade off the wall elsewhere, these discussions are bound to reignite.

Whatever path the Lakers take, there is no doubt that the team needs a fresh start to next season. Will it make trading Westbrook easy? No, but it’s something that may have to be done to improve the team right away.

For the latest information on Russell Westbrook’s Trade Front, click here.