After what felt like a lifetime, the Los Angeles Lakers finally decided to improve the roster by trading for Patrick Beverley.
Beverley had been open about his desire for suiting up for the Purple and Gold and finally got his wish. However, his arrival immediately raised eyebrows about Russell Westbrook’s future as it seems implausible that the two would get along.
Westbrook and Beverley have already been in contact with each other about playing together despite their previous differences though and after the latter’s introductory press conference, head coach Darvin Ham expressed his confidence in the two guard’s being able to coexist, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I see them working together fabulously. Their games complement one another. I wouldn’t want to be in the backcourt and have to deal with these two guys. So it’s gonna be a lovely experience, I’m looking forward to it. I’m thrilled to see them out there together and see them compete every day against one another in the right way in practice and those competitive juices rising to a level where it can transfer over on the game floor and again, get stops and have an identity of toughness and hard work. Again, we know what’s out there, we know every team starts the season with high hopes. But the biggest thing, my biggest hope is that we really enjoy the process and enjoy the journey because I think the daily process is gonna lead to progress. What we do day in and day out, that’s gonna take us where we need to go.”
Ham also noted that Beverley and Westbrook could potentially start alongside each other if they’re committed to the defensive end:
“If they play defense. If they play defense. We got a while, that’s still a ways off but definitely. And people get caught up in the starting lineups a lot, but you look at who’s finishing games. Those starters, they’re obviously out there to set that tone for our entire team throughout the game, but that’s still a far ways off. But I’m not scared of that, that’s definitely a bullet in the chamber. So we’re looking forward to it.”
For what it’s worth, Westbrook was present for Beverley’s presser so perhaps the two have been able to settle any beef ahead of the 2021-22 season. As for their on-court fit, there’s a case to be made that Ham has a point because Westbrook is still a great playmaker while Beverley has quietly been a reliable catch-and-shoot outside shooter the past few seasons.
Offensively there’s some room for optimism, but the real challenge will be how they look defensively. Beverley is more than capable of guarding up a couple positions, but Westbrook has yet to truly buy in on defense which could cause a problem in their pairing.
With training camp set to open in a few weeks, it feels more and more probable that this is the roster brings into the season. If that ends up being the case, the onus falls on Ham to make it all work.
Patrick Beverley feels different respect in Los Angeles as member of Lakers
After a few seasons away, Beverley finds himself back in Los Angeles but this time with the Lakers. The feisty guard made his hay with the L.A. Clippers, but now that he rolls with the Lakers, he’s noticed a different level of respect in the city.
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