Could the Los Angeles Lakers pick up Russell Westbrook?

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

Russell Westbrook on the Los Angeles Lakers

After watching Russell Westbrook crumble and be virtually a non-factor against the Los Angeles Lakers, why would the Los Angeles Lakers even consider Westbrook and his bloated corpse of a contract?

There are a few reasons why.

The Los Angeles Lakers badly need a 3rd star to take the pressure off an aging LeBron James going into next season. Lakersnation cannot expect LeBron to play at an MVP caliber level all season next year.

He will be 36 years of age come next season and saving his body for the playoffs will be key. If the purple and gold can have LeBron play at 70% all regular season and 100% during the playoffs, they get the best of both Worlds.

If used correctly, Russell Westbrook is the ideal 3rd star next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

While Anthony Davis and LeBron James are on the floor, it will be Westbrook’s job to settle for mid-range jumpers, slash to the rim, and to assist the ball all in the flow of the game.

With Anthony Davis and Westbrook on the floor and LeBron resting, it is the job of Westbrook to still do the above mention but to also run an effective pick and roll game with Anthony Davis.

Davis is an amazing pick and roll finisher and Westbrook with the right big man is an elite pick and roll facilitator, he showed this wonderfully with Steven Adams and his playmaking skills landed Adams a huge contract. Westbrook can use the big men’s screens to get to the bucket himself easily for an acrobatic lay-up or thunderous dunk.

When Westbrook is on the floor without Davis and LeBron, you surround him with shooters and spread the floor as much as possible to allow him to get to the rim and be as unimpeded as possible and for a bunch of his teammates being open all over the floor for 3-point opportunities.

For example:

  • PG Westbrook
  • SG Bradley
  • SF Kuzma
  • PF Dudley
  • C Morris

This allows for maximum floor spacing allowing Westbrook to do some of the things he does best which include, to collapse the defense with his speed and to hit an open man for a 3-pointer.

With a small-ball lineup, the Los Angeles Lakers get to run at the opposing team at full speed, If this can be done effectively, Westbrook can get easy baskets for both himself and his teammates.

With the Steph Curry led Warriors, the KD and Kyrie led Nets, and Kawhi and PG  with the Clippers, next year is going to be a difficult time for any team to walk its way to the NBA finals.

Stacking the deck with a 3rd Superstar, who allows you to keep your best role players in Avery Bradley, Kyle Kuzma, and Alex Caruso could be the difference between the Lakers conference finals and the NBA finals next year.

You can also bet that after the slander Westbrook has received this year, you are going to get a venomous Russell Westbrook who is going to want to make the NBA pay for doubting him. Westbrook is one of the most intense competitors on the floor at the best of times, what about when he is pissed off and ready to prove that he can win a ring.

Trading for Westbrook could also extend the Laker’s potential championship window and could get LeBron to stay an extra year with the Lakers in 2022-23 that allows for the purple and gold to get all there contracts in line and stack the roster with Stars for Anthony Davis moving forward.

If LeBron can continue to chase rings and not have to go all-out every night during the regular season, having Westbrook could extend LeBron’s prime another year or two.