Lakers’ Russell Westbrook more likely to be traded or sent home after Patrick Beverley deal, report says

The Kyrie Irving trade speculation may have ceased (for now), but that doesn’t mean Los Angeles Lakers‘The playmaker drama is over. Thursday, the Lakers acquired veteran defensive Ravager Patrick Beverleyleading to speculation over status as beleaguered nine-time All-Star Russell Westbrook to advance.

It’s no secret that the Lakers have been looking into deals involving Westbrook for some time, with multiple reports indicating that potential deals have been scrapped due to the Lakers’ reluctance to include one or both of their future players. first-round picks available. With Irving off the table, it seemed plausible that the team would enter training camp with Westbrook as the starting point guard. New Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has previously discussed a new offensive vision for the former MVP, that means taking more 3-point corners.

However, the addition of Beverley reintroduces questions about Westbrook’s future with the Lakers. In fact, with Beverley on the roster, it’s more likely that Westbrook won’t see the pitch at all for the Lakers in the upcoming season, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Westbrook could either be traded or simply kicked off the team. More from The Athletic:

“Beverley’s arrival makes it more likely that Westbrook will no longer be on the active roster at the start of training camp, either through a trade or the team that sent him home to the Rockets. with John Wall last season, according to a source familiar with the matter.”

Swapped, of course. But the John Wall Treatment? It’s a scenario that hasn’t really been talked about as a realistic possibility. Beverley is a usable starting point guard and will potentially add courage to a Lakers defense that has fallen from a NBA-best in 2020-21 until 21st last season. Westbrook was one of the worst offensive players in the league last season in terms of efficiency – his 0.844 points per possession was second-to-lowest for any player with at least 1,000 possessions, according to Synergy Sports – but if he is ready to accept a new role under Ham, he potentially provides a lot more dynamism and attacking firepower than Beverley.

That being said, SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh’s projections indicate the Lakers would be significantly better in 2022-23 without Westbrook, even without any plays coming back in a trade.

With Westbrook

45.4

66.1%

8.8%

4.8%

Without Westbrook

47.5

76.1%

11.8%

6.3%

Difference

2.1

2.6%

3.0%

1.5%

“The sims have long viewed Westbrook as a case of addition by subtraction dating back to when OKC was getting multiple games better with Chris Paul and Houston getting worse after trading for Westbrook,” Oh explained.

The fact that the Lakers would be willing to pay Westbrook $47 million to stay home speaks to the deteriorating relationship between the two sides. Obviously, an exchange is the preferred option – deals involving Myles Turner and Boyfriend Hield rebuilding Indiana Pacers come to mind – but that would almost certainly force the Lakers to give up at least one of their future picks, especially since Talen Horton-Tucker, one of their only young assets, went to Utah Jazz in the trade of Beverly.

So far, the Lakers haven’t been willing to compromise their future to get Westbrook off the roster, and now it looks like they might just be eating his salary to get him off the team. Of course, there’s always the possibility that this report comes from the Lakers to make it seem like they’re not as desperate to offload Westbrook as they seem. Only time will tell, but it’s looking increasingly realistic that Westbrook won’t be a good fit for the Lakers to start the 2021-22 season.

Leave a Comment