The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the worst teams in the NBA this year.
Much of the blame for last season’s woes was laid at the feet of Russell Westbrook. His refusal to accept a bench role when it became clear he was a poor fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis understandably irked folks.
This season, however – Westbrook has embraced the Sixth Man role. And on a personal level, it has paid dividends for him. Dwyane Wade’s recent assessment of the situation was pretty spot-on.
Many believe Westbrook has salvaged his career with that decision.
Unfortunately, the Lakers still appear to be concerned about him.
“Concerns persist internally that Westbrook doesn’t complement LeBron James and that the mix of stars may not work in the postseason when rotations shorten,” Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report revealed this week.
“The Lakers also have guards Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn (all three expiring contracts) as trade pieces for a smaller deal—or with Westbrook in a potential blockbuster.”
The Lakers’ worries certainly make sense. While Westbrook is no longer to blame for the Lakers’ losing ways in the same way as last year, he also isn’t doing much to improve the team. If he were, they wouldn’t currently be 11-16 and 12th in the Western Conference.
A move of some sort involving Westbrook needs to be made. The question now is just: what does that move look like?
The Detroit Pistons have made their demand for Bojan Bogdanovic abundantly clear.
Similarly, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski’s brutally honest take on L.A.’s present options was pretty cut-and-dry.
The Lakers don’t have a ton in the way of choices when it comes to Westbrook. And there is nothing they can do with him that doesn’t involve dispatching at least one of their lone remaining first round draft picks in this decade.
The next few weeks promise to be interesting.
Rob Pelinka and Co. have long-since maintained they were waiting to get to December before making a move that will alter the trajectory of this season.
Luckily the Cardinals are about to give Kliff Kingsbury plenty of free time to join her. https://t.co/UeOUuuu8tj
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 15, 2022
Well, December is here.
What are they going to do now?
Time will tell.