Russell Westbrook has been with the Los Angeles Lakers for one season, and it seems he wants to stick around. It’s been reported that he plans to exercise his $47 million player option for the 2022-23 campaign in the hope he’ll stay in Los Angeles for another season.
Westbrook is yet to make things official, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that his lawyer Thad Foucher filed paperwork on his behalf on Tuesday. This report comes shortly after Rob Pelinka, the Lakers general manager, addressed his future with the team during a recent post-draft press conference.
“I think Darvin [Ham] and I have had meetings with Russ and have just been honest about how we think he fits with his team, and what we expect of him next year if he decides to opt in and be here. He’s ready to embrace a philosophy of defense first as well, and he’s made that clear to Darvin and me,” said Pelinka.
Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists in 78 games since joining the Lakers, and often received criticism for his poor play. This was one of the worst seasons for the nine-time NBA All-Star, who reportedly often clashed with the former head coach Frank Vogel and said “I was never given a fair chance to be who I needed to be to help this team.”