It’s 2022, and that means what an athlete or anyone close to them posts on social media is news. Nina Westbrook, wife of NBA star Russell Westbrook, posted a cryptic message on her Instagram account alluding to knowing your worth. Amid the recent additions of Patrick Beverly and Dennis Schröder to the Los Angeles Lakers, many are speculating the former MVP isn’t long for Hollywood.
Russell Westbrook’s wife, Nina, posted this on Instagram hours after the Lakers cancelled a press conference 🤔 pic.twitter.com/7lLQaw7Vt5
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) September 21, 2022
Maybe you’ve seen the post about the cost of water and how its price varies based on location and the value placed on it due to limitations of said location.
Perhaps Nina just agreed with the post and it has nothing to do with Russ.
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has been very complimentary when discussing Westbrook. But in July while a guest on the “All The Smoke” podcast, Ham said something about everyone being bought in that was interpreted by some as a shot against Westbrook.
“Competing at a high level. We’re going to be together. The most together team always does well, always wins at the end of the day. And accountability. We’re going to be tough. We’re going to be defensive-minded. That’s the side of the ball where you’re going to see the quickest and most drastic improvement and we’re going to share offensively.
“Again, we want everybody all in on what we’re doing. We don’t want anybody that’s second-guessing being a Laker or ‘Am I in the right place?’ or this, that and the third.”
A fairly broad and generic comment that can be filed under coach-speak. But because Russ was on the trading block this summer and because of his declining play, you can see why people are jumping to conclusions.
Oh, and he’s also listed his Brentwood mansion for sale.
Westbrook is in the last year of his deal and is due a little over $47 million this season. He will likely enter camp and begin the season with the Lakers. Ham and the staff will give him every opportunity to be a part of what they are building if he’s able to make some changes.
Primarily on the defensive end. He has never shown much interest on that side of the floor throughout his career, but last season was his worst, according to advanced metrics. If he shows the requisite effort on defense that will go a long way. Offensively, he’s never developed a consistent jump shot. He’s utilized his otherworldly athleticism to get to the rim. But as his athleticism declines he’ll need to find other ways to score and do so efficiently.
If he’s able to make these changes he’s been unable to do thus far. He will likely remain on the Lakers all season, as he will be a valuable piece to their championship hopes.
But more than likely, come the trade deadline there will be teams that have either hit the injury bug and are looking to bottom out or need a point guard with playoff experience. Russ’ expiring contract won’t clog your salary cap beyond the end of the season. So you can shed some salary, if the Lakers want to take it on, and clear cap space for the coming season.
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