Oklahoma City Thunder star player Russell Westbrook may be temporarily sidelined due to an injury, but that fact hasn't stopped one fan of a storied NBA team from trying to recruit him.
Although Westbrook does not officially become an unrestricted free agent until 2017, the All-Star would be highly sought after and draw considerable interest throughout the NBA when that happens. According to Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation, Westbrook drew attention from a Lakers fan in the crowd who couldn't resist the temptation of telling him to come to Los Angeles.
"With Westbrook having ties to Los Angeles due to his short stint at UCLA, fans of the Los Angeles Lakers are already hoping he considers wearing purple and gold as a free agent," Ward wrote.
An injured Westbrook heard those comments from the Lakers fan during a Thunders game against the Houston Rockets last Sunday.
Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman took to Twitter to express his displeasure on recruiting efforts from the Lakers fan.
"Lakers fan six rows behind the scorer's table screams at Westbrook: 'Russ, come to L.A.," Mayberry tweeted. "Russ starts shaking his head no."
Mayberry then tweeted that a Lakers fan tried to entice Westbrook to come to L.A., where "we got rings." However, Westbrook brushed off those comments in a blunt manner and told the fan to "go back to L.A."
Rumors about a possible Westbrook trade have surfaced thanks to his hand injury, leaving him unable to play for now, according to Micah Peters of USA Today.
However, if the Thunder does seriously consider trading Westbrook in 2017, Jason McIntyre of USA Today Sports provided three possible scenarios back in May during the playoff season that would make logical sense for Oklahoma City. He thinks that although it makes no sense to do this, a trade for players from the Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, or Charlotte Bobcats would be the best fit in exchange for Westbrook.
"Is trading Russell Westbrook the answer? Probably not," McIntyre wrote.
McIntyre then added that the Thunder have to improve their team performance or risk losing Kevin Durant in 2016, which would have a similar impact compared to Westbrook leaving.
Kurt Helin of NBC Sports stated that there was no point in discussing a Westbrook trade soon because it's too early to do so. However, it hasn't stopped the Lakers fan from trying to recruit Westbrook into trying on a purple-and-gold jersey.
"There is a sense from some around the league that Westbrook would be more likely to leave Oklahoma City than Durant, that he is a guy that would like the bright lights of a big market," Helin wrote.
According to Peters, Westbrook moving to Los Angeles would be a "frying-pan-to-fire situation." For now, however, it appears that Westbrook is staying put with the Thunder in Oklahoma City.