3 Reasons LA Lakers Shouldn’t Chase Russell Westbrook

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The LA Lakers and Washington Wizards have been the subject of recent NBA trade rumors involving Russell Westbrook.

Marc J Spears of The Undefeated has reported that the LA Lakers have a potential trade offer to take over Westbrook from the Wizards. Aside from keeping an eye on Chris Paul to man their starting point guard position, there is reportedly another option to get the nine-time All-Star.

“According to sources, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have been on the hunt for an experienced point guard, and Paul is on the list. There have also been talks about Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook who is a potential candidate to move back to Los Angeles in a sign-and-trade deal that includes free agent point guard Dennis Schroder, forward Kyle Kuzma and guard Talen. Horton-Tucker, sources said,” Spears wrote.

NBA trade rumours: Russell Westbrook to the LA Lakers looks good on paper

Adding Russell Westbrook to a team that already has LeBron James and Anthony Davis would turn the LA Lakers into another super team with super high expectations. If you’re playing NBA 2K21, this is the kind of trading you’ll be doing. But in the real world, this concoction is likely to end in disaster.

Here are three reasons the LA Lakers should avoid trading for 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook:

#1 Russell Westbrook is too ball-dominant

Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards - Play-In Tournament
Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards – Play-In Tournament

Russell Westbrook works well when he has the ball and is usually in charge. He averaged a triple-double during the 2020-21 season, with 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists per game.

While his 30.2% usage rate was his lowest in 11 years, it’s hard to imagine Westbrook and James (31.9% usage rate) coexisting. The last time Russ shared the field with another ball-dominant player was in Houston with James Harden. Their 2019-20 season ended in a loss to the LA Lakers in the playoffs, and they both left the Rockets shortly after.

For years, many have asked James to let go of the reins and let another player take the lead on the attack. The king is already 36 and usually still doesn’t feel comfortable without the ball in his hands.

Westbrook is an excellent distributor, but James may not be ready to consistently wait for the ball before taking a shot.


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