Russell Westbrook Traded To Lakers: Is He The Right Fit For Los Angeles?
The Los Angeles Lakers made a stunning deal Thursday, acquiring star guard Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and the No. 22 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Lakers also received 2024 and 2028 second-round picks from the Wizards in the trade.
Unsurprisingly, the transaction was met with mixed reviews.
There’s no denying Westbrook’s status as one of the most entertaining and recognizable players in the NBA. Not only is he an explosive athlete and fierce competitor, but the 32-year-old has become notorious for his ability to rack up triple-doubles over the last several years. Westbrook has averaged a triple-double in four of his last five seasons, totaling 147 since 2016.
As it stands, Los Angeles currently has the second-best odds to win the NBA title in 2022 at (+400), per BetMGM, trailing only the Brooklyn Nets at (+230). The Lakers are followed by the Milwaukee Bucks (+800), Golden State Warriors (+1100), Phoenix Suns (+1400) and Utah Jazz (+1400).
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However, critics of the deal have been quick to call out Westbrook’s questionable fit with the Lakers. Da Kid Gowie made it clear he is among them in a conversation with Jordan Schultz.
Russell Westbrook Traded To Lakers: Reaction
What do you think #RussellWestbrook brings to the table for the Lakers?
— The Game Day Hoops (@TheGameDayHoops) July 30, 2021
In the video, Da Kid Gowie says the trade has its perks but argues that the Lakers are trying to fix something that doesn’t need to be fixed. Rather than trading for a player who won’t help Los Angeles’ shooting woes, he believes the Lakers would have been better off pursuing a combo guard with three-point shooting potential.
Los Angeles was reportedly in trade conversations earlier Thursday that would have seen a similar package dealt to the Sacramento Kings for Buddy Hield, who could have certainly solved the Lakers’ shooting woes. The 28-year-old made the second-most three-pointers in the league last season on 39.1% shooting from deep.
The Lakers posted the seventh-worst offensive rating and shot a lowly 35.4% as a group from beyond the arc in 2020-21.
With that said, it’s hard to bet against any team that features LeBron James and Anthony Davis at the helm. The Lakers were the No. 2 seed this past season, and had both stars been healthy for their first-round matchup with the Phoenix Suns, they could’ve been in position to advance to the next round of the playoffs.
What do you think? Did the Lakers make the right move and emerge as one of the biggest winners of draft day? Or are there real reasons to be concerned about Westbrook’s fit in Los Angeles?