The Los Angeles Lakers have been trying to trade Russell Westbrook for an entire year. First shopped during the 2022 NBA trade deadline, a potential Westbrook trade was the main storyline surrounding the Lakers during the 2022 offseason.
Nothing ultimately happened and with the deadline right around the corner, trade rumors have once again intensified. It appeared that Westbrook was going to be traded for Kyrie Irving until petty reasons from the Brooklyn Nets kept that from happening. Regardless, Westbrook was undoubtedly back on the market.
The cracks caused by these trade rumors are starting to become very apparent on and off the court. Westbrook has been distant (and bad) recently and the turmoil has reportedly boiled over into the locker room with him and Darvin Ham getting into a heated exchange on LeBron James’ historic night.
The Lakers have to trade Russell Westbrook after the Darvin Ham altercation.
Most Lakers fans would argue that the team already had to trade Westbrook prior to this incident but this is the icing on the cake. There is no feasible way that this basketball team can justify not trading Westbrook and simply rolling out this roster for the rest of the season.
If the front office and ownership are serious at all about contending this season then they need to move Westbrook and get him out of the locker room. If they are not serious about contending then they need to sell some of the assets they have and simply buy out Westbrook. There are zero reasons for him to stick around in Los Angeles any longer.
Westbrook is not the only Lakers star that made LeBron’s historic night about himself, either. Anthony Davis was acting very oddly in the Lakers’ loss, somehow managing to overshadow LeBron breaking the most unbreakable record in NBA history.
This shows just how dysfunctional this team currently is and how badly there needs to be some kind of roster shake-up at the deadline. This is something that every single Lakers fan saw coming when the front office decided to run it back with Westbrook, so it certainly is not surprising.
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Hopefully, this incident can be the wake-up call that Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss need to actually pull the trigger on a Westbrook trade. If not, Lakers fans will likely start tuning out of games, instead turning their focus to the start of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ season.