NBA Scout Speaks On How Russell Westbrook Must Improve

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Los Angeles Lakers took a huge risk when they acquired Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards in a trade last NBA offseason. Many people thought that it wouldn’t work out and those people ended up being correct.

The 2021-22 season was disastrous for the purple and gold. Westbrook didn’t mesh well with LeBron James and Anthony Davis as their skill sets weren’t a great match.

Westbrook needs the ball in his hands to thrive and he isn’t a good shooter, which you need to be to play alongside James. Los Angeles will try and hit the reset button on that deal, seeking out a trade partner for Westbrook.

It’s no secret based on all of the latest trade rumors circulating around the NBA, the Lakers have been engaged in some trade talks with the Brooklyn Nets centered around Kyrie Irving. Such a move could very well be their best opportunity to move him.

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However, there is still a chance that Russell Westbrook remains in Los Angeles for the upcoming season and plays out his contract. If he does that, some work needs to be done to avoid the same shortcomings as last season. Even if he doesn’t, he could run into similar issues with fit alongside other stars.

As one NBA scout pointed out, his mechanics need to be tweaked. His shot selection could also use some work, as that would lead to better efficiency. He also needs to lock in defensively.

“He’s got to be honest with himself about his shooting mechanics. That needs to improve this summer for him to play with other superstars. If he was a better shooter, he could be an easier play off the ball where he could cut and attack off the catch more. He’d be a lot more efficient in that type of role and provide more value. Many times in early offense, he was jacking bad shots and hurting the Lakers. Those have to stop, and if we’re being honest, those plays might as well be counted as turnovers. Same with some of those awful misses on post-ups. He’s at a stage in his career where he needs to be more disciplined and allow the game to come to him.”

“He’s got to lock in and make it a point to guard. The big thing, though, is taking pride in defense even when he’s off the ball needs to be a priority. I noticed plays where he’d just lose a shooter off the ball because he was watching the ball. That can’t happen anymore, and it’s been going on with him for years. He’s got to lock in and stay locked in.”

While Westbrook has been the topic of discussion, and rightfully so as he does need to work on some things, he wasn’t the sole reason for the team’s struggles last season. James and Davis being unable to stay on the court, healthy, certainly didn’t help matters.

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Alas, given the fact that LeBron James and Anthony Davis already brought the organization one title together, they will be given a little more slack.

But, they could do a better job of making Russell Westbrook comfortable, as it was one of the things that were mentioned at his exit interview that Westbrook never really felt he was given the chance to be himself.