It seemed like a pipedream at the beginning of the offseason, but the Los Angeles Lakers figured out a way to pull off a trade for Russell Westbrook. He may not be the best fit on the team’s current roster but he gives them a certified big three. In fact, the Lakers’ other two superstars played a key role in getting Westbrook to Los Angeles.
They talked about putting their egos aside and playing as one in their quest to bring the Lakers another NBA championship. Westbrook talked about how his only intention was winning and coming back home to Los Angeles to become a champion.
James and Davis talked about the two of them changing positions if that was best for the team — James moving from small forward to power forward and Davis from power forward to center.
Westbrook let James and Davis know he doesn’t mind playing off the ball when James initiates the offense, something he did while playing alongside James Harden with the Houston Rockets.
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Lakers Will Need to Make Adjustments
For Lakers fans who may be concerned about Westbrook’s fit with the team, it’s a promising sign that all the team’s superstar players appear to be on the same page. If this experiment is going to work, the whole roster is going to have to be flexible. LeBron and Westbrook are both ball-dominant and it sounds like they could take turns running the offense.
One big positive about Westbrook coming over is that he’ll take a lot of the workload off LeBron and Davis during the regular season. He’s a grinder and plays hard for every game. That should help keep the other stars fresh in the playoffs. Head coach Frank Vogel has his work cut out for him but is a smart coach with a strong staff. They’ll figure out how to best make things work throughout the season.
Lakers Could’ve Landed DeMar DeRozan
Had the Lakers not landed Westbrook, they could’ve targeted a number of other players. In fact, there was another Los Angeles native hoping to return home. DeMar DeRozan has been linked to the Lakers for some time but it appears that window has closed, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
“San Antonio Spurs unrestricted free agent DeMar DeRozan was in talks with James, sources said, but the Westbrook deal eliminated that option because it would have required a sign-and-trade scenario and a Kuzma inclusion,” Haynes wrote.
DeRozan actually makes more sense as a fit for the Lakers. He doesn’t shoot threes but his mid-range game is strong. He’d also cost a lot less money. However, he doesn’t have the star power that Westbrook does. DeRozan will likely be disappointed by this development and have to revaluate his free agency plans.