Things could get awkward for the Los Angeles Lakers in a few weeks when the team begins training camp. After a difficult 2021-22 NBA season, the team needed to make some major changes this offseason but thus far, they have been unable to make the necessary changes.
Moving on from Russell Westbrook was atop that to-do list. His skill set did not mesh well with LeBron James and Anthony Davis and he showed very little willingness to change his approach on the court to fit in with his teammates.
Westbrook is no longer able to overcome his inefficiencies on offense as his off-the-ball skills are underwhelming and he isn’t a strong defender. If he won’t buy into a new game plan under head coach Darvin Ham, things could get ugly this season.
At this point, it seems like it would be a detriment to have Westbrook on the court in any capacity with the team. Building chemistry is already difficult enough; if everyone isn’t on the same page, it will be virtually impossible.
If James had his way, a chance at the point guard position would occur. Acquiring Kyrie Irving, whom James teamed up with on the Cleveland Cavaliers to win an NBA Championship in 2016, is what the former MVP would prefer for the purple and gold. Marc Sten shared the update on his Substack.
“As it stands, barring a trade to ship out Westbrook suddenly coalescing after weeks of fruitless talks, Ham is going to have to coach Westbrook, which is bound to be challenging in the extreme given that Westbrook is well aware that the Lakers have been trying hard to move him. And that James badly wants Irving to take his place.”
Landing Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets is something that the Lakers have been trying to do for most of the offseason. Nothing has come to fruition, however, as Brooklyn isn’t going to just give Irving away; they want to receive some value in return, which is likely two first-round picks.
To this point, that isn’t a price Los Angeles has been willing to meet in any negotiations. Unless that changes, it remains unlikely that Russell Westbrook will be on the move.
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