Russell Westbrook, point guard for the Lakers, decided to use a $47.1 million option and continue playing in Los Angeles next season.according to a person with direct knowledge of the efforts.
The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Neither Westbrook nor the Lakers have officially announced the deal. ESPN was the first medium to break the news.
It was not surprising that Westbrook, 33, stayed in Los Angeles since nowhere else would he have gotten a salary even remotely close to what he would receive with the Lakers next season, his 15th in the NBA.
Westbrook had until Wednesday to decide what to do with the $207 million contract he signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Since then, he has changed teams several times. In 2019 he moved to Houston, in 2020 to Washington and in 2021 to the Lakers.
In Los Angeles I had to be part of a fearsome tro, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But things did not go as expected.
The Lakers suffered numerous injuries, they did not qualify for the playoffs and ended up firing manager Frank Vogel. Westbrook was heavily criticized.
I averaged 18.5 points per game, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 78 games with the Lakers. Only four players had higher averages this season: Nikola Jokic (Denver), James Harden (Philadelphia), Luka Doncic (Dallas) and Dejounte Murray (San Antonio).
But his point average was the lowest since the 2009-10 season and his 3-point percentage was a pale 29.8%. In that category he finished 251st among the 278 NBA players who took at least 100 shots from distance.