Report: Person with Lakers wants to trade Westbrook: “We’ve got to rip the band-aid off”

Russell Westbrook
Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on against the Golden State Warriors during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. The Warriors won 121-114. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

With the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline within 24 hours away, teams around the NBA are scrambling to put together deals that they’ll execute tomorrow to — in their eyes — improve their team in the short-term and/or long-term. The Los Angeles Lakers are definitely one of those teams as they are in 9th place in the Western Conference with a 26-29 record that has fallen far below their preseason championship aspirations. Other than the unfortunate injuries the team has suffered all season, all other issues with the team lead back to the decision to trade for Russell Westbrook who has severely underperformed to his standards while the team lost its roster depth as a result of the transaction.

Now, it sounds as if the Lakers are ready to try and rectify their 2021 offseason decision, even if it means they’re admitting their faults less than one season into the experiment.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin had the following to say on SportsCenter today regarding an individual with the team having the desire to get rid of Russell Westbrook (transcribed by Jacob Rude of Silver Screen & Roll).

“Now my reporting last night was that they got to do something with the roster. I had a team source tell me today, specifically, what he would like to see done with the roster? Trade Russell Westbrook. He told me ‘We’ve got to rip the band-aid off to be able to move forward this season.’”

Of course, the specificity of who that team source is means a lot as to how much weight we should put into this report. Is it Frank Vogel? Is it LeBron James or Anthony Davis? Is it Luol Deng? Is it the Lakers’ waterboy? Who knows!

I’m joking towards the end of those thoughts, but on a serious note, McMenamin has always seemed very plugged into the Lakers’ organization as he has a knack for being the first to big Lakers scoops. It’s likely this is an important person within the organization, further showing how much the situation with Westbrook has deteoriated.

This comes around the same time that Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus says the team is unlikely to trade Westbrook with part of that reasoning being the fact that a trade involving him would be an admission of failure from the front office in what was one of the biggest moves the franchise has made in years.

We’ll see what continues to develop between now and tomorrow’s 3 p.m. EST deadline, but the fact of the matter is that there seems to be at least one person ready to move on from this failed Westbrook experiment.

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