LOS ANGELES, June 29 — Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook has decided to exercise his US$47.1 million (RM207 million) option to return to the club for the 2022-23 season, according to multiple reports on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old playmaker, the 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player and a nine-time NBA All-Star, is entering the final campaign of a five-year contract worth US$206 million.

Westbrook has played for four different clubs over the past four seasons, averaging triple doubles in his final three seasons with Oklahoma City before a 2019 trade to Houston involving Chris Paul.

Westbrook began the 2020-21 campaign with the Rockets but was traded to Washington in December 2020 and stayed with the Wizards until an August 2021 swap to the Lakers.

Last season, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists a game over 78 contests for the Lakers, who went a disappointing 33-49 and missed the playoffs, injuries to stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis having helped scuttle hopes for a post-season run.

Westbrook, James and Davis played together in only 21 games last season, the Lakers going 11-10 in those contests.

The Lakers hope to rebound this coming season under new coach Darvin Ham. — AFP