One speculated suitor — the Lakers — doesn’t seem interested, anyway.
The Lakers think they can sign him. And I was talking to some executives yesterday about possible trades they might do or offer. And I was told they think they can sign him as a free agent, so why should they give up anything?
If he wants to play for the Lakers in 2017-18, Westbrook will get to Los Angeles. If he doesn’t, he’ll sign elsewhere.
Keeping the team’s most valuable players will only make the Lakers look more appealing to Westbrook next summer. I suspect that outweighs Westbrook’s incumbent team’s ability to offer higher raises and a fifth season on a new contract.
Spending the upcoming season with the Lakers, who look ill-equipped to win now, might even turn Westbrook off to the Lakers.
It’d be devastating to trade valuable assets for Westbrook then lose him a year later. Better just to wait to add him as a free agent — even if the Lakers are probably overblowing their odds of signing him.