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Should Lakers fans be bracing themselves for a Russell Westbrook return?

With no reported traction on the trade front and his recent public team sightings, the polarizing point guard feels on track to be back in Los Angeles.

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Although it at one point seemed improbable, the impossible may be on the verge of happening as more hints allude to the Lakers and Russell Westbrook continuing their partnership next season.

Despite multiple reports that the team has actively tried to ship Westbrook away throughout the offseason, the combination of the lack of recent traction on the trade front, Jeanie Buss’ comments, and an uptick of appearances from Westbrook — both physically and on social media — may signal the ice is thawing between both parties.

Perhaps the biggest sign and threat for Westbrook’s departure came when the team swung a deal for his longtime rival Patrick Beverley, which many presumed sealed Westbrook’s fate in Los Angeles.

However, this too was defused when Westbrook was not only the sole Laker player in attendance for Beverley’s introductory press conference, but was also seen hitting it off with Beverley on the practice court. This only added more validity to the comments from Darvin Ham regarding his optimism for the duo sharing the floor this year.

There is of course still a chance Westbrook finds a new home before games tip off. And the option of a deal transpiring during the season, if things once again go south, should also not be ruled out.

However, for the first time, it seems like momentum is swinging toward a return being more likely than not. The ramifications and prospects of this bring us to today’s episode.

On this week’s edition of Talk-O-Tuesday (on a Wednesday), our hosts Alex Padilla and Alex Regla deciphered whether or not Westbrook is now en route to being back next season, whether or not they think he could still be traded and if the roster as currently constructed is better than last year’s squad.

You can listen to the full episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

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.