No…Not the player, but all of the assets to match up with that $44 million this season and $47 million the next!
Although the Los Angeles Lakers mortgaged much of the decade getting Anthony Davis into the fold, at least most use the “We got a ring out of the deal” to fall back on.
The mortgage for the rest of the decade is gone for the time being with the Russ deal. There was absolutely no flexibility until Rajon Rondo was traded last week. As of this writing, the Lakers have to sign Avery Bradley for the rest of the season while wink at Stanley Johnson with 10-day contracts to save a buck.
But let’s look at the official deal again, shall we?
The Los Angeles Lakers received:
- Russell Westbrook and that $44 million salary this season and $47 million the next!
- 2024 and 2028 second-round picks.
The Washington Wizards received:
- The rights to Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
- The rights to the No. 22 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft which turned out to be Isaiah Jackson (Kentucky), who traded the draft rights to the Indiana Pacers for Aaron Holiday.
Now let’s throw in the fact that the deal hamstrung the Lakers so badly that they basically showed Alex Caruso the door by lowballing an offer to him that was next to insulting. The Lakers have no choice but to make this work. Why? Rumors are already out that the front office has explored trades but to avail.
"All of which explains why sources say the Lakers showed some covert interest in discussing a possible Westbrook trade with rival executives earlier this season. A deal appears extremely unlikely before the Feb. 15 trade deadline, if only because his deal that was once seen by so many as untradeable is such a massive obstacle. But inside the Lakers, it seems, there is some recognition that this hasn’t gone as (James and Davis had) planned ."
How about Ben Simmons? Michael Scotto of HoopsHype asked Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer that question…
"Jake Fischer: The only outgoing call I confirmed was to Philadelphia for Ben Simmons… When I got the information that they called about Ben, the conversation pretty much was, “We’re interested in Ben. How would we get there?” The obvious solution is Russell Westbrook. He’s not a player on that Sixers list that they have."
Speaking of Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, he discusses the possibility of Russ’ departure despite the front office’s efforts…
"The trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook simply hasn’t blended as well as Lakers figures hoped, and Los Angeles has held internal discussions on trade scenarios for Russell Westbrook, league sources told B/R. But moving Westbrook and the two years, $91 million remaining on his contract does seem unlikely."
Now let the staff of Lake Show Life destroy some myths.
To anyone that believed this deal was going down at any time is a casual fan trying to get into the conversation. Either they forgot that he demanded to be traded or just skipped that last page of this article!
Umm…the Los Angeles Lakers had a cheaper version in Marc Gasol last year and they ran him into retirement. Vogel talks defense right? Love is worse defensively than DeAndre Jordan with a $25 million+ price tag! Even if the Cavs added Ricky Rubio, that is now a moot point with his season-ending injuries!
He plays for the Indiana Pacers, right?
LeBron James torched Myles Turner so badly that the Pacers had to switch Domas Sabonis on him. Give him credit, his awful defense from the center spot is the reason the Lakers play LeBron at center now! Oh and pay him a ton of money? PFFT!
Honorable mention: Jerami Grant
Good luck selling the fanbase the benefits of trading Talen Horton-Tucker and Russ for a player that is out with an injury. Plus someone has to be the best player on a horrible team like the Detroit Pistons. Wasn’t Russ the best player on the Wizards based on the stats?
Well Lakers fans, this concludes our special handbook to understanding Russell Westbrook. We recommend that you pull this article out every game and go to certain pages when he frustrates you.
Will it make him play better? No. But it will save you money in TV repairs when you throw objects at each turnover or on a new TV set when you throw it out the window if he passes up LeBron or Melo to shoot in crunch time!