Until now, the understanding of most is that Russell Westbrook is as good as gone. But this was before the multi-titled coach and former executive Phil Jackson entered the picture.

The Zen Master is reportedly helping the embattled Los Angeles Lakers in their coaching search. So far, no names have gained steam despite names like Mike Brown or Quin Snyder being mentioned.

A major point for consideration is having a coach that can get along with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But a report from Sam Amick of The Athletic is likely to gain criticism.

Per Amick’s report, the Lakers’ front office is reportedly asking coaching candidates about the prospect of using the 2017 NBA MVP. Should these be true, it hints that the Lakers may be keeping the 33-year-old after all with hopes that Westbrook can recall his old monster triple-double persona.

Most will recall that it was a forgettable season for Westbrook with the purple and gold. He failed to develop any kind of chemistry with James and Davis, a reason why the Lakers have been heavily criticized.

But with James already 37-years-old, some feel that “The King” may eventually retire soon.

Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke claims that Jackson wants to trade James although he lacks the source to back this claim up.

“I’ve just heard that but I’ve got nothing to back that up. No on-the-record stuff to back that up. I do know that Phil would like to keep [Russell] Westbrook and try to make that work with him,” Plaschke said on “The Doug Gottlieb Show.”

If age is a factor, the alleged intent to keep Westbrook as potential preparation for James’ retirement would make some sense.

James has shown he can still play at a high level but has failed to produce wins and a credible showing for the purple and gold.

Jackson has been known for controversial moves, some of which have paid off. As far as investing in Westbrook, it remains to be seen if the outcome will be the same.

Dwight Howard #39, LeBron James #6, Anthony Davis #3, and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers Dwight Howard #39, LeBron James #6, Anthony Davis #3, and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images | Jared C. Tilton