Russell Westbrook’s future continues to be a significant talking point for Los Angeles Lakers fans and media, and that attention is set to increase following the team’s acquisition of Dennis Schroder on a one-year deal.
However, it seems like the Braunschweig native is excited about the prospect of sharing a locker room with the Lakers superstar, as shortly after his return to the Lakers had been announced, Schroder took to Twitter to pay homage to his latest backcourt teammate.
In fairness, Schroder is certainly a similar player to Westbrook as both require the ball in their hands to be the most effective, while neither is known for their knock-down shooting or their willingness to operate as a point-of-attack defender.
Furthermore, Schroder’s addition to the rotation could also be the final piece to the puzzle that sees the Lakers commit to finding a new home for their superstar guard after he failed to impress during his debut season and saw his relationship with the fan base deteriorate throughout the year.
However, there’s no telling how Schroder is going to be received. After all, the veteran guard reportedly rejected the Lakers’ offer of an $80 million contract extension last season before signing with the Boston Celtics for a veteran minimum deal.
Westbrook Willing to be Traded
According to a September 9 report by ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne, who was appearing on The Lowe Post Podcast, Westbrook has revealed that he would certainly be interested in finding a new team via trade – providing he was assured of a significant role within the rotation.
“Russ is very open to a trade. He hasn’t asked for a trade. I’ve been assured of that. But he’s open to that, and somebody who wants him and wants to empower him and wants him to be Russell Westbrook of old,” Shelbourne said on a recent episode of The Lowe Post podcast.
Of course, there is still no guarantee that another team with cap space is interested in acquiring Westbrook, and there is still a chance he will remain with the Lakers for the final year of his current deal – where he is set to earn a staggering $41 million.
Video of Westbrook Draining 3’s Goes Viral
The biggest knock on Westbrook’s fit with the Lakers roster is his lack of perimeter scoring – as the team requires additional floor spacing for LeBron James and Anthony Davis to excel in their roles.
However, on September 16, video footage emerged on social media that showed Westbrook with a re-designed jump shot which had resulted in numerous three-point attempts falling during his private workout.
Of course, hitting wide-open jumpers in the gym is far different from doing so during a game scenario, where there is far more pressure and you’re having to account for giant defenders running toward you to challenge the shot. Yet, if Westbrook’s new shooting mechanics are for real, and he proves himself capable of becoming an off-ball guard during training camp, there is still a chance he could become a vital cog for a Lakers championship push this season.
As a counterpoint, if Westbrook does prove capable of operating as a floor spacer, we could see the market for his services improve, allowing both him and the Lakers to get their wish of ending their current partnership. We have until February to see how things play out, and there’s no doubt it will be interesting!