The backdrop to whether or not the Lakers might find a trade partner for Russell Westbrook is the impending decision LeBron James will make on extending his Lakers tenure and once again forego the leverage he’s had with previous organizations.
Last time he did so with the Lakers, they used their leverage to stand pat at the deadline and we got a fun couple week’s worth of subtweets from James as he complimented any and all executives he could name off the top of his head and in some cases, their clothing.
As things stand currently, James doesn’t appear likely to commit to an extension before he has to. The other side of this equation is a Lakers team that has signaled throughout the offseason that they do not want to give up picks to move Russell Westbrook without getting enough help in return — especially if they aren’t sure whether James might extend.
Because you know what everyone needs this season? A second verse to the song that got stuck on repeat last year.
This week in the “Lakers Lounge,” Harrison Faigen and I explained all the angles to this situation and why we understand where both James and the Lakers are coming from; but how at the end of the day, it only benefits the Lakers to make a trade (even if it’s an overpay) to appease their superstar and perhaps convince him to stick around a little longer.
Also covered in this episode was one of those news cycles that Harrison and I just can’t help but love and laugh at. Speaking of laughing, I was not at all prepared for this from Harrison:
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.