All offseason, the talk surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers has been what they’ll do with Russell Westbrook.
The Lakers and Westbrook had a forgettable 2021-22 season, and it feels like a divorce would be best for all parties involved. However, no trades have materialized that suit Los Angeles, which lends some credence to the idea that the team is comfortable going into training camp with the point guard.
There’s no denying that Westbrook remains a talented player and in the right situation could show he’s nowhere near as bad as he was last year. However, former Lakers player and head coach Byron Scott believes the Westbrook experiment was set up to fail as soon as the season started and maintains that he can work alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, via Brandon Robinson of Bally Sports:
“Them just trying to force that whole situation to work, it was just chaos from the start. And the fact that Anthony [Davis] wasn’t healthy enough to really have any type of cohesiveness or chemistry between those three. I’m hoping this year that they’re healthy, I’m hoping that they’ve been working out and getting ready for the season, getting ready for the preseason and all that stuff because I think those guys together could be dynamic. But it’s gonna be one way or another, it’s gonna be really good or really bad, no in between.”
Scott even went so far to suggest that bringing Westbrook off the bench is the best way to utilize his strengths as a shot creator and facilitator, but as of now, Ham has him slated to start. However, Scott did add that Westbrook didn’t get many opportunities next to James and Davis so maybe Ham could unearth something there.
The overall health of the Laker roster last season is a major factor in the team’s struggles, so it would be unfair to pin all the blame on Westbrook’s poor play. Regardless, last season is in the past and if Westbrook is indeed on the team by Opening Night, they’ll need him to buy into the role Ham has set forth for him if they want any shot of being successful.
Lakers need to offer two first-round picks to get rotation players back for Russell Westbrook
The Lakers have been linked to several deals involving Westbrook, with the team receiving multiple players back. However, L.A. has been unable to execute a trade because the asking price for rotation players has been at least two first-round picks. So far, the Lakers have been unwilling to include both though that stance may change if the team struggles out the gate.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!