Well, Westbrook is reportedly inking an extension with the Thunder.
Oklahoma City center Enes Kanter rubbed that in a bit:
Westbrook’s extension might actually make it MORE likely he signs with the Lakers.
He’ll hit free agency now in 2018 rather than 2017. By then, the Lakers’ young core – D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle – should be better-equipped to win. Of the four, only Randle will have finished his low-paying rookie-scale contract. As long as they don’t extend him, they can leverage his low cap hold, use their cap space then use his Bird Rights to re-sign him.
With only moderate planning, the Lakers should have cap room to give Westbrook a max deal in 2018.
Westbrook to the Lakers in 2018 is unlikely, but it would have been unlikely in 2017, too. If the Lakers get a better chance in 2018, they probably won’t mind waiting a year to make their pitch.