The Lakers have not ruled out ceding Russell Westbrook, according to the report. A guard says ‘the plan’ is to go back to LA

Russell Westbrook’s first season with the Los Angeles Lakers did not go as planned. On Tuesday, they were eliminated from the post-season competition by the same team that knocked them out of the playoffs a year ago: the Phoenix Suns. Westbrook struggled to match ball dominant LeBron James. He didn’t improve as a shooter, didn’t grow as an off-ball drive or commit to playing a solid defense. In addition, his $44 million salary has prevented the Lakers from maintaining the deep support team that has made them so dangerous over the past few seasons. This move was, by almost any measure, a disaster.

But after the 121-110 loss to Phoenix, Westbrook indicated he’s ready to try everything again if that’s the way things turn.

“That’s the plan,” Westbrook said After the game before admitting the truth of the situation. “But nothing is promised. You kind of have to take it one day at a time. Like I said throughout the season, you have to play the cards that have been dealt. Yeah, we want to be able to see what that looks like, what that involves over the course of a season. From 82 games, but we’re not sure if that’s guaranteed either. So I just hope we’ll have a chance to be able to do something.”

If Westbrook wants to stay with the Lakers, the first domino is to be demolished. He has a player option worth $47 million for next season. If he receives it, he will at least be under contract with the team, but they will still be free to trade it in. Of course, if the Lakers are afraid they won’t be able to transfer him, Westbrook could offer to turn down the option and extend his contract for several seasons at a lower price. It’s also likely to be unpalatable, and if the Lakers wanted to, they could simply use the extension clause to waive Westbrook and pay what he owed him over the course of several years – on Thursday, Mark Stein said they didn’t rule this out. If Westbrook makes it to the open market, he won’t earn bids anywhere close to the $47 million that the Lakers are committed to paying him if he chooses.

Westbrook isn’t the only Major Laker to suggest he wouldn’t mind bringing him back. After Sunday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, Anthony Davis wondered what it could have been. “Men feel, ‘Well, what would we have been if I had been healthy all year long,'” [LeBron James] was healthy, [Kendrick] Was Nan in good health? “You’re thinking about these things,” Davis said. We put this team together and it looked good on paper, but we didn’t have a chance to reach that potential with players in and out of the squad. So the most frustrating part of this season is not being sure of what we could have been.”

Even when the Lakers (31-48) had their full star triple, they weren’t particularly effective. They won in the minutes even during the minutes when all three played together. The trio simply did not fit together. None of the elite shooters. They’ve crammed the floor for each other and their massive paychecks have prevented the team from adding the kind of roles that would have made sense to their side.

The most widely held assumption is that Westbrook would pick a $47 million option. Financially speaking, it would be foolish not to. From there, the ball is in the Lakers’ court. They will certainly be looking for business opportunities, and with Westbrook on an expired contract this off-season, a transfer may be possible. If not, Westbrook at least seems open to repairing the fences even if there is little evidence to suggest doing so would be beneficial to either side.