There was a time and place when paying Russell Westbrook, one of the top salaries in the league, was worth it. Westbrook was averaging triple-doubles and creating some of the greatest stat lines we had seen since Oscar Robertson. With that said, since Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder, the two players have seen different stages of their careers. Durant is a two-time champion, while Westbrook has been a frequent flop in the first round.
Westbrook has played for three different teams in the last three years. The 2022-23 season will be the first time he plays back-to-back for a team since his days with the Thunder. We are assuming that Westbrook will be back with the Lakers because of the hefty price tag attached to his name. Westbrook will be the fourth highest-paid player in the NBA next season.
Here is the 2022-23 contract breakdown for Westbrook.
2022-23 Season: $47,063,478
Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. He shot 44.4% from the field and 29.8% from the three-point range. His points per game average were the lowest of his career since 2009. It also snapped a streak of 11 straight seasons where he averaged at least 20 points per game. On top of his lower points total, the Lakers won just 33 games, and the team missed the playoffs.
The only players that will earn more than Westbrook are Steph Curry, John Wall, and James Harden. Two of those players are expected to lead their team to a title next season. Westbrook is in the same boat as LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The question is will Westbrook show the vintage version of himself, or could this be one of the worst contracts in basketball next season?