“They gonna have to take a fourth mortgage out on their house” NBA Insider believes Lakers have only themselves to blame for Russell Westbrook’s hefty price tag of $47 million

Read to know more about Russell Westbrook's decision to opt his player option in the upcoming season making him one of the highest paid players with $47 million.

Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook

Nobody expected Russell Westbrook‘s first season with the Lakers to go as poorly as it did. He struggled to integrate with the other players on the Los Angeles team and never found his rhythm whereas the Lakers as a whole also failed. Despite featuring LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and a cast of veterans, they failed to make the playoffs, raising severe concerns about the team’s future. Westbrook was benched in important moments last season, traded at the trade deadline, and his future with the team was still very unclear as free agency approaches.

The news that Westbrook has chosen to exercise his player option for the next season surfaced on Tuesday. On Tuesday’s episode of “The Herd,” commentator Joy Taylor discussed how the Lakers spent all of their money on Westbrook and are now out of options. The Lakers had to decide whether to exercise Westbrook’s $47.1 million player option before they even considered trading him. Now that Westbrook is nearing the end of his maximum contract extension with Los Angeles, he will have a second chance to establish his value under the leadership of new head coach Darwin Ham.

Does Russell Westbrook deserve to opt the player option worth 47 million?

It was hoped that Russell Westbrook would join LeBron James and Anthony Davis as the third star after being acquired by the Lakers in the previous summer. However, the group never really clicked, and Westbrook’s performance dropped. The Lakers struggled to a 33-49 record, finishing 11th in the West and missing the playoffs despite having a good team. Westbrook just had his worst season in his professional career. He  averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists while shooting 44.4 percent during the season. Despite having a terrible field goal percentage of 29.8 percent and a free throw percentage of 66.7 percent, he was mostly blamed for the Lakers’ misfortunes.

It goes without saying that Westbrook faced harsh criticism for his play in his first season at Los Angeles. Throughout the whole season, he opposed being called “Westbrick” by both fans and national TV experts like Skip Bayless. It is evident that Westbrook is not allowing all of that hatred to affect him. Going into his second season with the Lakers, he is still optimistic. He and LeBron just need to find out how to work together on the field and if they can’t, the 33-year-old point guard will put the Lakers at a crossroads.

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The Los Angeles Lakers point guard, who has had a difficult season and has been battling off criticism, posted a video of himself singing along to Beyonce’s new song, “Break my soul,” on Tuesday morning. A short while later, news that the guard will exercise his option to return to the Lakers broke via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He will earn $47.1 million as a result this year.

On “The Herd”, Joy Taylor discussed about the potential 47 million contract of Westbrook. She stated: “They’re gonna have to take a fourth mortgage out on their house to make any moves,” Taylor said. “They don’t have anyone to blame but themselves. It wasn’t a huge mystery what Russell Westbrook was.” She implied that Lakers are gonna struggle in terms of competition and financially after they are done through with this deal.

In November, Westbrook will be 34. His scoring average has dropped from 31.6 points per game in 2016–17, a league and career high, to 18.5 points per game this year. The Lakers are hoping that a new coach and a lengthy summer might help the team turn things around. As the franchise is limited in terms of any potential salary room, the Lakers will need to be strategic with their moves this summer. With LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook as key players, the Lakers should be able to compete with any team.

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