The Los Angeles Lakers have been mum on their plans for Russell Westbrook, someone who has been a frequent visitor in the NBA trade rumor mill.

Although such NBA trade talk has been quashed on several occasions, it appears the Lakers are doing this quietly on their end.

In a report from The Athletic, the purple and gold allegedly held talks with the Pacers in a deal that would have gotten them Myles Turner and Buddy Hield.

In return, the Lakers would have dealt Westbrook together with their unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 per sources.

A series of meetings were held between the two camps. But in the end, Los Angeles allegedly opted to hold off and stay patient to see if Westbrook can redeem himself in the 2022-23 NBA wars or find a better deal for the 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player.

Westbrook owns a $47 million contract for the coming season, something that most NBA teams want to avoid. Although there have been several teams such as the Brooklyn Nets and the Utah Jazz mentioned as potential landing spots, the Pacers loom as the most plausible one.

But in the opinion of The Basketball League president and former NBA player David Magley, the future of Westbrook may hinge on first-year head coach Darvin Ham.

The 62-year-old shared his thoughts on the beleaguered nine-time All-Star in an exclusive interview with PTV Sports.

“Like Monty [Williams], Darvin [Ham] was a good role player in his time in the NBA. He [Westbrook] seems to be commanding respect since day one [with the Lakers]. Ham knows the frailties of Westbrook’s ego. He knows what abuse he took,” Magley explained.

In the 62-year-old executive’s eyes, he is aware of the abuse that Westbrook got from fans last NBA season. But if there is one guy who can get him back on track, it would have to be Darvin Ham.

“You can say what you want about Westbrook. He played hard every game but didn’t have a great season. Everyday, they were call him Westbrick. They were just taking him down. He takes it,” the former Cavaliers player said.

“Ham’s a tough guy. I think Darvin’s going to come in and say, ‘let’s get these guys together.’ I think he and Patrick Beverley could be an interesting backcourt at times together. Can you imagine both of them get at it defensively? Westbrook’s athleticism has not tapered off either. He is still a wonderful athlete,” Magley added.

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images | Katelyn Mulcahy

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