Considering the circumstances, the Los Angeles Lakers made one of the most intriguing trades of the 2022 offseason by acquiring Patrick Beverley — Russell Westbrook’s long-time foe.
On Thursday, the Lakers confirmed trading Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Beverley. Unless L.A. parts ways with Westbrook, the 34-year-old is set to share the locker room with the 2017 NBA MVP, with whom he’s been feuding on and off the court for almost a decade.
Considering their eventful past, Fox Sports analyst Skip Bayless can’t see Westbrook and Beverley bury the hatchet — mainly as he thinks the latter currently has more to offer than Westbrook:
I don’t think it’ll work between the two of them, let alone the fact that now Patrick is going to take some, if not a whole lot, of Russell’s minutes because, Shannon, in the end, as God is my witness, what I believe here is: Patrick Beverley right now is better than Russell Westbrook. He’s more valuable in so many ways. He’s a lot better 3-point shooter. He’s a better playmaker. He’s a pretty good player. He doesn’t make spectacular plays but he makes all the right plays.
The beef between the two guards started in 2013 when Beverley rammed into Westbrook during a first-round playoff matchup between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder in 2013, injuring his knee and ruling him for the rest of the postseason.
A few years later, Westbrook questioned Beverley’s reputation as one of the NBA’s best defenders — which, Beverley claims, hurt his career. The two traded jabs as recently as last season, with Beverley mocking Westbrook for poor performance in his first season with the Lakers.
Beverley shows support for Westbrook after Lakers trade
After his move to the Lakers became official, Beverley seemingly tried to move on from the conflict with Westbrook — sending a supportive message to the potential new teammate.
After LeBron James tweeted he can’t wait for Westbrook to “go off” in the upcoming season, Beverley shared the post and said: “Same, it’s on.”
Still, recent reports claim Beverley’s trade means Westbrook is likely to have played his last game for the Lakers.