Lakers might not commerce Russell Westbrook in spite of everything

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According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers have been contemplating a number of totally different choices for shaking up their Twelfth-place roster. Probably the most formidable plan was to package deal Westbrook’s expiring $47 million wage with one or two draft picks to get a celebrity, or to get a number of gamers – like the long-discussed Indiana deal for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner.

The second choice is to make a smaller deal centered across the expiring offers of Patrick Beverley ($13 million) and Kendrick Nunn ($5.25 million), plus some picks. This would not get the Lakers an excellent star, however it may get them some gamers that match the roster higher – specifically, somebody who could make three-pointers, and maybe one other defensive massive man.

Choice three can be to do each, however Sam Amick reports {that a} Lakers supply thinks it is unlikely Westbrook is traded earlier than the deadline in February. And the reason being Westbrook’s current stage of play.

Coach Darvin Ham moved Westbrook out of the beginning lineup 4 video games into the season. Up till then – in a small pattern of three video games – Westbrook was averaging 10.3 factors, taking pictures 29 p.c and he’d made simply one among his twelve three-point makes an attempt.

Off the bench, he is taking pictures 41.7 p.c – which nonetheless is not good – however it’s so much higher. Similar goes for his three-point taking pictures – it is improved to 31.1 p.c, however it’s nonetheless dangerous for a guard.

It isn’t even that the staff has been a lot better with Westbrook – Amick writes that “the Lakers’ internet score has been eight factors higher when he’s off the ground (+4.6) than when he’s on (-3.4; the worst mark among the many staff’s high seven rotational gamers in that span).” However he is not being blamed for the staff’s struggles.

A part of it’s that regardless of his shortcomings, Westbrook performs very onerous. Whereas one can query his shot choice, it is onerous to quibble along with his effort. And Westbrook hasn’t complained about his position except for one postgame press conference within the preseason.

The opposite component is that Westbrook has now been on the commerce block for months, and no staff has been prepared to surrender the celebrity or a number of gamers the Lakers are looking for – or a minimum of not with out getting an unprotected first-round choose in return. Maybe the Lakers are merely accepting this actuality and specializing in shifting the extra manageable Beverley and Nunn offers.

Nonetheless, the followers in Enviornment are not booing the Lakers’ sixth man or yelling “Westbrick” when he shoots. And with Steph Curry out for the subsequent few weeks, maybe the street to the playoffs will get simpler within the West. For higher or worse, the Lakers are driving with Westbrook the remainder of the way in which.

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