Lakers would still prefer to trade Russell Westbrook

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"As the Los Angeles Lakers move forward in their search for a new head coach, it has been reported they have asked coaching candidates how they would use and maximize Russell Westbrook."

"The report seemed to indicate that perhaps the team had done an about-face on deciding to trade him this summer."

"That type of thinking among fans seemed to become even stronger when Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times said Phil Jackson,"--

--"the former Lakers head coach whom owner Jeanie Buss reportedly leans on for advice, would prefer keeping Westbrook and trading LeBron James."

"However, according to NBA insider Marc Stein, L.A. still fully plans to at least explore trading Westbrook."

"Westbrook reportedly didn’t get along with teammates or the team’s coaching staff, and it is hard to imagine anyone with any pull on the team vouching for the 2017 league MVP."

"However, if the Lakers are unable to consummate a halfway palatable trade involving Westbrook",--

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--"and if their new coach, as well as James, both want Westbrook around and believe they can make it work with him, perhaps he will be in the Purple and Gold come opening night this fall."

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