The future of Russell Westbrook with the Lakers remains uncertain. He opted into his player option for the 2022-2023 season which will earn him $47 million but Los Angeles is reportedly exploring option to move the former league MVP.
It is widely expected that if the 33-year-old point guard gets traded, he will be bought out by his new team. Sports analyst Bill Simmons thinks that getting bought out could signal the end Westbrook’s NBA career as there are no teams in the league that really want him.
“If that traded did happen, you asked “What happens to Westbrook?” I think he’s out of the league,” Simmons said on The Bill Simmons Podcast. “I’m not saying that the Skip Bayless way. I just think he’s the rare kind of guy where if you’re a tanking team or a lottery team, why would you bring him in? All he’s going to do is try to play 40 minutes a game and put up stats and make you more competitive.
“If you’re a playoff team, I don’t know – I can’t think of a playoff team that he would be additive to. He’s not going to want to come off the bench. He doesn’t play defense, he’s not really a good shooter.
“And over and over again, we’ve seen the best possible scenario for him are like these seven, eight, nine seeds where he plays 40 minutes a game. None of those teams are going to want him.
“So I do think there’s – if that Indiana trade happens and he gets bought out, then that might be it for him.”