whatever happens in Los Angeles Lakers It’s scaled up, it’s to be found in one of the NBA’s two biggest markets and to be the most well-known franchise in the world. If we add to this the best players of the entire generation like lebron james The scope of what is happening in and around the organization is even larger. Of late, the California team has lost the talent and competitive prowess it had then Anthony Davis, Since they emerged as champions in 2020, they have barely played 5 playoff games and Won only 48% of his matches. Along the way, questionable decisions, injuries, difficult defense moves and the feeling of a missed opportunity to build a dynasty.
One of those indicated during this period which is close to three years is none other than Russell Westbrook, One player asked to rest LeBron and keep the group level in Davis’s absence, but the objective was not met as expected due to various circumstances.
During this long period in which the Lakers have navigated mediocrity, Westbrook has been used as a Scapegoat, as if their questionable level explained the California team’s general performance and drift. However, since the arrival of Darwin Ham and their transfer to another unit, the mvp A lot has changed in 2017. It is very difficult to replace this now given the construction of the Los Angeles team squad as it contributes points, increases the pace of the game and has managed to significantly reduce its failures.
What used to be gaps and gaps are now moments of solidity. which before this there was one problem now is a source of answer.
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Russell Westbrook has earned the right to be respected again as a very important member of the Lakers in spite of everything. Yes, his jump shot remains erratic, as does his decision-making ability in some sections, but taking him away from the team will sink Darwin Hamm’s men even further.
and the latter one crisis For the Lakers.
The previous season was marked by Russ’ nullified contributions and refusal to accept a minor role in favor of collective gains. Its poor performance prompted Los Angeles management to seek various relocation options that would somehow free up the books of accounts to amend the project. The sticking point for Rob Pelinka and the rest of the organization was whether or not it was profitable to divest more draft assets to fix a problem. The final decision was to give Westbrook a vote of confidence, hope he improves next season and pray a rebuilding team agrees to keep the point.
Practically a year after that the situation could not have been more different. Russ is the fourth leading scorer among substitutes in the entire NBA (15.8), seventh in rebounds (6.4) and first in assists (8.1). Besides, it is one of the 12 players can average over 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal in this grade. Beyond the traditional numbers, one thing is clear: Removing Westbrook from the Lakers’ rotation will leave him with no choice but to shoulder his burden and responsibility and be on the bench. which translates to a delineation within the scope of action of the franchisee because they cannot do without him and those who come to replace him imaginary transfer They will not even be able to see what juice gives.
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if we add zero market to this running outs that in this 2022-2023 season the situation is even more difficult to manage from the offices lakers, Players set to become free agents next July include Nikola Vucevic, Khris Middleton, Kristaps Porzingis, James Harden or Kyrie Irving, However, neither of them will have the option of substituting Westbrook for sporting reasons. A salary of the magnitude of the #0 Los Angeles team (41.3M) is very difficult to square up in a potential transfer because, in the best of cases, the math would require two players to work out.
The Lakers’ problem with Juice is that those who would make an easy trade would not be moved; And those that have more options have less pay and require more engineering and negotiation to make it viable.
All this without mentioning the fact that they should definitely include one or two first round Draft so that Westbrook takes up the other half of the conversation. Something that Rob Pelinka systematically wanted to avoid.
In this context, Californians are left with only one option trade deadline And the rest of the 2022-2023 season is spent trying to improve the roster without moving the 2017 MVP, with the aim of continuing to rise in the standings and reach the post-season. Think ahead? Maybe in second place, it’s the Lakers and only the next game matters here.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the NBA or its organizations.