The Los Angeles Lakers were not content with the results of this past season, nor were they willing to sit around and watch other teams improve their rosters. This led to the team pulling off a questionable and bold blockbuster trade for superstar Russell Westbrook.
After two seasons of LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way, the Lakers have a legitimate third star to help carry the load in Los Angeles. Although the trade has been criticized as some wonder whether the trio will work well together, head coach Frank Vogel gave the move his stamp of approval as he is confident in Westbrook’s ability to take this team to the next level during the 2021-22 campaign.
Vogel was recently on Spectrum SportsNet’s “LakeShow” podcast with Chris McGee and Allie Clifton and addressed how engaged he is in the process of making changes to the roster along with the addition of Westbrook.
“Very engaged, very involved,” Vogel said. “Rob Pelinka and Kurt Rambis do a great job enlisting my insight on what these personnel moves would look like and what I’m in favor of. Very collaborative in that way and obviously a great deal of excitement when you can add a player the caliber of Russell Westbrook. You want as much firepower as you can get to battle what we’re about to battle and when you get in these playoff wars, you need firepower. This guy is the ultimate competitor, he’s desperate, very much wants to be in that position to win a championship. That’s the one thing he’s not accomplished in his career and he’s in position to do that. Then once you got that main piece in place, then it becomes, OK, how do we fill out the rest of the roster? You’re basically only gonna have minimum contracts, mid-level exception, limited cap space and can you get guys to commit to you that could make more money elsewhere but are really sold and want to sacrifice because they see that there’s a real chance to win a championship here and to play with these three great players. So the rest of it comes together.”
The real question now will be whether the Westbrook experiment is a success and if the Lakers can get back to their winning ways as a result of it.
Vogel recently signed a contract extension that secures his future with the team for now, but the pressure will be on moving forward with the Lakers under the microscope the second the ball is tipped on Oct. 19 at the Staples Center against the visiting Golden State Warriors.