The Los Angeles Lakes still have Russell Westbrook on the roster, but he has just received a big warning. The one-time MVP struggled to contribute to the game last season. General Manager Rob Pelinka is looking for trade partners, but he hasn’t found any. The Lakers may call the Utah Jazz and New York Knicks to see their options.
The Lakers haven’t made any moves to get rid of Russ. Everything points to the fact that he will put on a Lakers uniform next season. Ric Bucher from Fox Sports talked to NBA scouts and execs. They discussed Westbrook’s situation and the fact that his time in LA may be brought to an end. So, most execs thought that Westbrook should accept a bench role in the 2022-23 NBA season.
“It is not what he has left, it is: How he will accept that he is not the player that he was? It’s similar to Carmelo. I’m not sure Russ has the awareness to accept a lesser role,” One scout told Boucher.
Another added, “It’s hard to see him as anything but a backup for the Lakers…It’s hard for him to play with [Anthony Davis] and LeBron [James]. It might be OK if they let him go with the second unit. He has to play the only way he knows how unless he can miraculously learn to shoot.”
This doesn’t make sense for Westbrook. He is a competitive guy and embracing a bench role would be a big blow for him. Frank Vogel benched him last season and Westbrook wasn’t really happy about it. In fact, he was really frustrated.
Russell Westbrook got another warning
Enter Patrick Beverley. The Lakers traded for the veteran despite the tension between him and Westbrook. They have spilled venom over the years and now they have to play together. Head coach Darvin Ham plans to use them in the starting lineup. How will this work?
Brian Windhorst from ESPN has some concerns about Westbrook and Beverley.
“I don’t believe that the Lakers think this is going to work. I think they’re saying that, and trying to keep a stiff upper lip and make the best out of this because they know they don’t have any Russell Westbrook trade that makes sense for them right now. So, they’re gonna try to make it work.
But let’s be honest, we live in an era where you have to have shooting in the NBA. When the Lakers won their title a couple of years ago, it was with shooting. All of LeBron’s great teams in his career had shooting. You have Westbrook who is one of the worst three-point shooters in the NBA, and Patrick Beverley is coming off the worst three-point shooting year of his career…This duo doesn’t make any sense on a basketball level.”