The Los Angeles Lakers have been under heavy scrutiny after Year 1 of their Russell Westbrook experiment didn’t meet the Lakers’ standards. High expectations always surround the City of Angels, especially when a trio like Westbrook, Anthony Davis, and of course, LeBron James is formed.
Though many believe the acquisition of the former MVP has yielded disastrous results, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green thinks it’s just a matter of time until Westbrook returns to form and contributes to an 18th banner.
“Who wouldn’t ask for Russell Westbrook?” Green said, per the Checc’n In Podcast, after being asked whether he believes LeBron James asked for Westbrook to be traded to the Lakers. “You’d be out of your mind not to ask for Russell Westbrook.”
Westbrook, who is due $47 million this season, has been involved in many trade talks just one year after being sent from the Washington Wizards for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, and the No. 22 overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft from the Lakers. The deal hasn’t worked out thus far, but Green believes the reason for that is because of how on-the-ball dominant each of the three superstars is.
“I 100 percent think the fit is terrible,” said Green. “I don’t think you could talk to Russell Westbrook right now, and Russell Westbrook wouldn’t think the fit is terrible — just, because the fit is terrible, don’t mean you don’t go for it. Because guess what, if you go for it and it works, then you got a championship.”
The star power of the Lakers is undoubtedly one of the best in the League, but the Lakers finished 33-49, 11th in the Western Conference. Many Lakers fans worry Westbrook’s turnover issues and inability to hit shots at the rim will hold back the Lakeshow.
Health issues were also a more significant issue last season. James and Davis missed a significant amount of time sitting on the sidelines last season, missing a combined 68 games without one of them appearing on the court.
Meanwhile, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists last season, per ESPN. Coach Darvin Ham has confirmed that he thinks Westbrook “has a ton left in the tank” and that he has a “wholehearted plan” to utilize Westbrook to the best of his abilities. Davis, James, and Westbrook also chopped it over the phone to reconfirm their commitment to each other as well
Green may be a rival, but he certainly notices the potential this squad has. With former MVPs and defensive player of the year caliber players, the Lakers are expected to make a playoff run this upcoming season, but if all fails again this season, the NBA world will likely call for the Lakeshow to move on from Westbrook and trade him elsewhere.
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