The rumors of Kyrie Irving joining the Los Angeles Lakers have slowed down but haven’t gone away completely. If the Brooklyn Nets trade Kevin Durant, the chances of Irving staying with the team dramatically decrease. The Lakers are eager to improve the roster but may have to continue to exercise patience.
This creates an awkward situation for Russell Wesbbrok as Los Angeles hasn’t been subtle about the fact that they’re shopping him around the NBA. If they had it their way, they almost certainly would’ve sent Westbrook to Brooklyn in a package revolving around Irving.
Despite the two star guards being rumored trade targets, there doesn’t appear to be animosity between them. In fact, they were seen working out together recently.
Regardless of where they play, Irving and Westbrook need to be ready for the season. Westbrook might not love that Irving has been flirting with the Lakers but it hasn’t affected their ability to be in a gym together. It’d be interesting to hear what kinds of conversations the two have had in the gym.
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Ex-Westbrook Teammate Believes Bounce-Back Season Is Coming
Last season was easily Westbrook’s worst since he was a rookie. He only averaged 18.5 points a game on a team that didn’t get close to the playoffs. He was healthy for most of the season so there aren’t many great excuses to be made for his poor play.
Victor Oladipo is another former All-Star who has had trouble reclaiming his former glory. The two played together in Oklahoma City and have been working out together. He believes that Westbrook and he are trending towards a bounce-back season.
“Me and Russ go away back. … We played together in 2015 when he won MVP so he prepared me for the following year when I left MVP. Right now, we’re on the same wavelength,” Oladipo said of a possible revenge tour this season on “The VC Show.” “When I say that, you said it best. You have to sit down and talk to him to understand where he’s at, but he’s there.”
What Will Westbrook’s Season Look Like?
Westbrook is as competitive as they come and he’s heard all the noise this offseason. He’s clearly going to be motivated to quiet the critics. However, it’s hard to fathom he’ll make the right changes instead of doubling down on what he’s done well in the past. The Westbrook of old does not fit on this Lakers roster. If he’s going to be a good fit, he has to change his game. If he refuses to, the Lakers are better off keeping him away from the team, even if they can’t trade him or buy him out.
Westbrook should be hoping he can get out of Los Angeles. He’d be better off on an average team where he can be the leader. He doesn’t work next to LeBron James. Even if Westbrook starts the season as a Laker, he likely won’t finish the season as a member of the team.