Any given NBA superstar can be optimized by the roster their team puts around them. There are no secrets there – the book has been written on all of the league’s best players.
Suppose a superstar is an incredible offensive talent, but they struggle on defense. They need to be surrounded by defenders. Alternatively, suppose they’re a generational playmaker – you surround that player with shooting.
Generally, that’s how teams have opted to build around LeBron James. There’s not a player in the world who you’d rather see with the ball in their hands. James, like any superstar, needs a strong secondary ball-handler, but it’s preferable for that player to double as an elite floor spacer.
Apparently, the Los Angeles Lakers missed that memo. They opted to pair James with Russell Westbrook in 2021-22. The results were predictably subpar.
LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Dallas Mavericks & Los Angeles Lakers Updates
Westbrook can do a lot of things on an NBA floor, but reliably spacing the floor is not one of them.
Here’s a deal that has the Lakers landing a needed surplus of floor spacing by moving him to the Dallas Mavericks.