Russell Westbrook is expected to opt into the final year of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers by the end of June.
This is what Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said prior to Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors.
“Russell Westbrook can opt into the final year of his contract at $47 million dollars, he’s expected to do that at the end of the month,” Wojnarowski said.
Full report from Woj: pic.twitter.com/B3TWNkwMlS
— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) June 9, 2022
The All-Star guard, who has been involved in several trade scenarios, is set to earn $47M next season. It seems he has no intention to leave the franchise, while the Lakers are also willing to keep him in the roster.
For his part, the new head coach of the Lakers, Darvin Ham, had nothing but good words to say about Westbrook. Ham said he considers the superstar guard a significant part of the team’s roster next season.
Russell Westbrook failed to lead Los Angeles to the playoffs last season and averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 78 games.
Blazers, Pistons potential destinations for Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns bigman Deandre Ayton is not expected to take less than a max contract, and the Arizona franchise is still unwilling to pay him at max money. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Blazers and Pistons are possible destinations for the big.
“[Ayton] wants to max, he doesn’t want to come down from that. So that’s the case, if one team offers him the max, which I think seems pretty possible … Detroit gets mentioned a lot. Like Portland, it seems like he’s another guy that [Damian Lillard] has interest in playing with. Toronto gets mentioned, San Antonio has been mentioned,” Fischer said at Dunc’d On Basketball NBA Podcast.
If the Suns are unwilling to pay him, then that only leaves a few teams with the cap space to actually fit in a max deal. Detroit, Portland, and San Antonio are three of the five teams with the highest projected cap space heading into next season.