To be fair, Russell Westbrook is a great player and he’s one of my favourites in the NBA. He’s probably the most athletic guard I’ve ever seen. He’s a top playmaker in the league and he plays at 100% every game. Anyone would love to have a caliber NBA player like him on your team. For the Los Angeles Lakers, Russell just doesn’t seem to fit right though. It’s too bad, I even thought Russell Westbrook would fit with the team once they acquired him. Even including him as a reason why the Lakers would win a championship in the beginning of the year, in my article “ The Los Angeles Lakers will be your 2022 NBA champion”. With under 23 games in, I’m just not convince he’s the guy. If I had to trade one player on the Lakers it would be Russell Westbrook and here’s my reason why.
Why trade Russell?
The Los Angeles Lakers screwed up their offseason plans with the way they built their roster. With 23 games in and being 12-11 to start the season, you can see the roster just doesn’t fit. It’s time to trade Russell Westbrook. Taking most of the teams’ salary, making 91.2 million in two years, so far he hasn’t be worth the money. His late game decisions has been a struggle to watch for instance. In the past four seasons, the former MVP has led the league in three-point attempts with a terrible percentage (19% 8 for 42) while his team is either within one shot to take the lead or tied with under one minute left in the game. Almost every game for the Lakers have been close. Russell Westbrook has to quit taking those shots in order for his team to win.
Russell Westbrook ball dominate ball style doesn’t fit how Lebron James plays. His shooting abilities and his constant turnovers don’t help the team neither. What the Lakers really need is shooting, space for Lebron and perimeter defence. And unfortunately, Russell’s play style doesn’t check any of these boxes. Russell needs to be the main focus on another team or join a team so he can run the offence. The Lakers already have those two players, Lebron James and Rajon Rondo off the bench. Three’s a crowd especially having three guys who need the ball every possession. There’s a team I think Russell can go too and would honestly be a better place for him. While the Lakers could also get some pieces for themselves that fit around Lebron better. There’s one realistic trade I think the Lakers can make and explaining why it would make sense for both teams.
The Philadelphia 76ers have be trying to force Simmons into games hasn’t turning out as a planned. The disgruntled star still hasn’t play a game this season and made it clear he want out of Philadelphia soon as possible. Ben to join the Lakers would be perfect. Firstly He has Lebron James as his teammate, possibly the greatest teammate ever. Him on his side, I could see Ben gain more confidence in his shooting abilities. A fresh start for Ben will help while playing for a city he wanted to play for too. After his historic break down shooting 34.2% from the free-throw line and barely shooting in the playoffs series against the Atlanta Hawks. Ben’s fear of moment series lowered his trade value. Which Lakers could possibly add Matisse Thybulle in the trade. With the western conference being so offensive guard heavy like Stephan Curry, Devin Booker and Dame Lillard. Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle on the perimeter, they can help the Lakers defensive.
The 76ers getting Ben Simmons gone, they could add a top playmaker playing along side Joel Embiid. The 76ers roster would fit good with Russell Westbrook as the point guard. A team with three -point shooters on the perimeter and big men who can play the pick and roll game. This checks all the boxes for Russell Westbrook to run the offence for them. The Philadelphia 76ers would get a player who play his heart out and a guy who doesn’t miss or sit out gamea like Ben Simmons did. In my opinion, He would instantly be a fan favourite for Philadelphia.