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Lakers Reportedly Met With Russell Westbrook About His Future With Team

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook dribbles the ball.

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers takes the ball down court during the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Crypto.com Arena on December 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

After an up and down first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Russell Westbrook appears to already be on the bubble for returning next season.

According to Lakers insider Jovan Buha, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said that he and head coach Davin Ham have "had multiple meetings" with Westbrook about his future with the team. Per the report, they have made it clear that he needs to prioritize defense to have a role on the team.

Whether or not Westbrook is willing to accept that role remains to be seen. Buha also reported that Westbrook has yet to make a decision on his player option for the 2022-23 NBA season.

Westbrook started 78 games for the Lakers in the 2021-22 season. He averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game - missing the All-Star Game for the second year in a row. 

The Los Angeles Lakers moved heaven and earth just to bring Russell Westbrook into the fold. Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Aaron Holiday, Spencer Dinwiddie and the draft rights to Isaiah Todd were all sacrificed to get him from the Washington Wizards.

The end result was a 33-49 season and the departure of Frank Vogel just two years removed from winning an NBA title. 

Obviously the Lakers want to make this work with Westbrook if for no other reason than the sunken cost fallacy. 

Will Russell Westbrook return to the Lakers for a second season?