Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder are currently in a tough spot. They have been trying to trade Russell for quite some time now, but have only managed to find one team so far that is willing to take on his contract. If there ends up being no takers, Russ may already be prepped with an exit plan should things go south next season.

The “nba rumors: lakers” is a rumor that Russell Westbrook may already have an exit plan if the Lakers trade him. The Lakers are reportedly looking to trade Russell Westbrook, and this rumor suggests they may be able to get more than just a draft pick in return.

Russell Westbrook May Already Have an Exit Plan If the Lakers Trade Him

The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t even close to being a title contender. Russell Westbrook’s long-term future in Los Angeles has been cast into question due to his continuing problems. Westbrook may have an escape strategy in place if the Lakers sell him before the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

Russell Westbrook’s persistent flaws are causing serious worry.

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The Lakers signed Westbrook in the hopes that he would be the missing piece in their championship jigsaw on his return home.

Rather, the former league MVP has battled to establish himself as a consistent offensive contributor, particularly in late-game scenarios. Westbrook is averaging 18.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.8 assists on the season. He is, however, shooting 29.6% from 3-point range and 43.7 percent from the field, both of which are tied for his lowest percentages since the 2013-14 season.

Westbrook’s problems have sparked trade speculations only weeks before the deadline next month. If the Lakers transfer him, it might pave the way for a possible departure strategy.

Russell Westbrook may already have a departure strategy if the Lakers deal him, according to NBA trade rumors.

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As the Lakers’ troubles continue, Westbrook’s future remains a topic of debate in the organization.

Due to his enormous remaining deal, Los Angeles isn’t attracting much interest for the nine-time All-Star. This season, he earns $44.2 million and has a $47 million player option for the 2022-23 season.

Despite the financial obstacles, the Houston Rockets are allegedly interested in a one-for-one deal for Westbrook in exchange for John Wall. The Rockets are adamant that the Lakers include their 2027 first-round selection in the deal. 

Another twist has developed, when Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that Houston will engage in a buyout with the former league MVP.

“Buyout talks with a player owing more than $50 million are never easy,” Stein wrote, “but it is thought Houston would gladly accept the task if it could receive the Lakers’ future first-round pick.”

With Wall’s $47.4 million player option for next season, the Rockets are already grappling with the same dilemma. The Lakers’ willingness to add a future first-round selection in exchange for a little more costly remaining deal will determine the outcome. The last year of Wall’s deal will most likely be picked up by the team.

Westbrook, on the other hand, would be free to play anywhere this season. He’d pique attention since another team could possibly sign him for the remainder of the season for the veteran’s minimum.

Los Angeles is interested in moving away from Westbrook since the experiment hasn’t gone as planned. The issue now is if the Lakers feel Wall can step in and fill the vacuum left by the 33-year-old. If that’s the case, things will pick up before the trade deadline next month.

Russell Westbrook will be the only option for the Lakers.

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Despite the fact that the Lakers are focused on winning now with LeBron James, a deal with the Rockets would leave them salary-cap strapped until the 2022-23 season.

Wall is still a gifted player, but his current contract situation is unappealing. Whatever happens, the Lakers will be unable to assemble a more varied squad around James and Anthony Davis.

Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Malik Monk, Wayne Ellington, and Trevor Ariza all took wage cuts at the veteran’s minimum, so GM Rob Pelinka would need numerous players to do the same. The appeal of playing alongside James will attract talent, but it will be difficult to assemble a competent squad without the necessary financial resources.

If the Lakers are anxious to relocate Westbrook, the Rockets are prepared to do it under certain conditions. If not, the star point guard is expected to stay in Los Angeles at least for the rest of the season.

Spotrac provided the contract numbers.

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RELATED: Russell Westbrook’s Struggle With the Lakers Is Diagnosed By Hall of Famer Gary Payton

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