There have been plenty of rumors about Oklahoma City All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook potentially having interest in the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, in 2016 for Durant and 2017 for Westbrook. Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical recently reported that the Lakers have "little, if any" chance to sign Durant in free agency this summer, and now Westbrook has shut down that option for the time being as well.
Westbrook is amidst the best season of his career with averages of 24.1 points, 10 assists, and 7.6 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game while shooting 45.8 percent from the floor. When the superstar was asked about his interest in potentially coming home to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers during his Saturday morning media availability at All-Star weekend, he sounded less than enthused, telling reporters "Nah, I like where I am right now. Oklahoma City is a great place for me," according to Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman. Slater captured the whole exchange on his Twitter account:
A reporter asked Russell Westbrook today if he wants to play for the Lakers pic.twitter.com/FwTiQx30pV— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 13, 2016
While that answer is disappointing for fans of the talent starved purple and gold, what is Westbrook supposed to say? He is still over a year away from being a free agent, and probably is happy in Oklahoma City, who currently boast the third best record in the NBA.
A lot can change in two years, though, and if the Thunder fail to get over the hump and win a title over that time (a very possible outcome given the historic dominance of the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors), Westbrook could change his mind about how content he is in Oklahoma City. It's probably best to not read too much into these comments, or to assume he will have interest in coming home in 2017. Free agency has become a year-round obsession among NBA fans, but stuff like this is too far off to predict with any certainty.
All stats per NBA.com. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.