Sam Amick of The Athletic is the latest NBA reporter to state that Lakers guard Russell Westbrook appears increasingly unlikely to be traded before this season’s deadline, citing a source with knowledge of the team’s plans. A similar report surfaced earlier in the week.
Based on how Westbrook has performed in a sixth-man role, he has made himself more valuable to the team as an on-court contributor than as a trade piece — Los Angeles would have to attach draft asset to get a team to take on his $47MM+ expiring contract. Most of the recent trade rumors involving the Lakers have revolved around a Patrick Beverley/Kendrick Nunn/draft pick(s) package rather than one that includes Westbrook.
Here are a few more items from around the Western Conference:
- The Mavericks have expressed a “level of interest” in Knicks point guard Derrick Rose, a league source tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. However, Bondy suggests Dallas wants to get a longer look at Kemba Walker before deciding whether to address its backcourt on the trade market. Rose, who is earning $14.5MM this season and is out of New York’s rotation, likely doesn’t have much value at this point.
- Before facing his old team in Denver on Wednesday as a member of the Wizards, veteran guard Will Barton reflected on his eight-year tenure with the Nuggets, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscription required). Barton said he enjoyed seeing the club evolve from a lottery team to a contender during his time in Denver. “Just to be a part of that whole foundation, laying the bricks, to see where they are today,” Barton said. “Knowing that I was a part of that is gratifying enough for me.”
- Thunder forward/center Jeremiah Robinson-Earl isn’t expected to return from his right ankle sprain anytime soon. Head coach Mark Daigneault referred to Robinson-Earl as week-to-week rather than day-to-day, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman, who tweets that Daigneault called the injury an “impressive” sprain.