The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t make any major moves in the offseason. They were linked to several players, but Rob Pelinka entered the new season with pretty much the same roster. NBA experts discussed Russell Westbrook and his situation with the franchise mostly because he struggled to perform in his debut with the team.
Pelinka didn’t move on from Westbrook and the veteran will probably finish the season as a Laker. Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that the Lakers front office is not expected to trade Westbrook before the February 9 deadline.
Westbrook averages 14.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game this season. He shoots 40.3% from the field, 28.4% from beyond the arc, and 69.8% from the free-throw line. Lakers head coach Darvin Ham offered him a bench role and this move has probably saved his NBA career.
“According to a source with knowledge of the Lakers’ plans, Westbrook’s play this past month has made it increasingly unlikely that he will be traded before the league’s Feb. 9 deadline,” Amick reported. “Since becoming a sixth man on Oct. 28, the 34-year-old, who is in the final year of his (massive) contract, has averaged 15.2 points, 7.9 assists, 5.8 rebounds, 3.8 turnovers and 28.2 minutes. For the sake of perspective, only six players (Luka Dončić, Nikola Jokić, Ja Morant, Pascal Siakam, Jrue Holiday and James Harden) have met those 15-7–and-5 marks so far this season. The Lakers have gone 11-12 in that span.”
Russell Westbrook has no concerns about his future with the Lakers
NBA pundits believe that the Lakers should trade Westbrook and get someone who is a better fit for the team.
“Production aside, Westbrook’s imperfect fit with these Lakers clearly remains an issue,” Amick wrote. “Consider this: Even with those gaudy numbers that he has produced as a sixth man since Oct. 28, the Lakers’ net rating has been eight points better when he’s off the floor (plus-4.6) than when he’s on (minus-3.4; the worst mark among the team’s top seven rotational players in that span).”