Fans Lament Lakers Trading for Russell Westbrook Over Kings Star

buddy hield

Getty Buddy Hield with De'Aaron Fox.

Russell Westbrook’s debut with the Los Angeles Lakers went about as poor as possible. The former NBA MVP scored eight points on 4-of-13 shooting with just four assists in a 121-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Considering there were already questions about Westbrook’s fit with the team, that performance didn’t do him any favors.

Prior to the trade that landed the Lakers Westbrook, they were close to trading for Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield. In fact, Kyle Kuzma thought that he was going to end up with the Kings before the news broke that Los Angeles pivoted and cut a deal with the Washington Wizards for Westbrook.

Nobody would argue against the notion that Westbrook is a better and more accomplished player than Hield, but the fit was always questionable. Hield would’ve fit in much better next to Anthony Davis and LeBron James. After Westbrook’s horrific Lakers debut, Hield started to trend on Twitter as fans lamented the idea that the team made the wrong trade.

Hield’s best asset is his shooting while that’s Westbrook’s worst asset.

It was a rough night for Westbrook and Hield has to be feeling good about himself right now.


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Too Early to Deem Westbrook Trade a Failure

Obviously, the Lakers and Westbrook would’ve liked to see a better performance in his debut but he does deserve time to figure things out. Davis and LeBron have played together for two years now so it’s no surprise they were in sync in Game 1. It always takes time for big threes to work out the kinks.

Head coach Frank Vogel made it clear that Westbrook just needs time.

“Him more than anybody, it’s going to be an adjustment period,” Vogel said after the game. “He’s coming into our culture, our system. He’s the new guy, and he’s got to find his way. It’s difficult, when you’re used to being the guy who has the ball most nights, to be able to play off of others like Bron and AD. So it’s just a little bit different for him. He’s going to be great for us, but it’s going to be an adjustment period.”

Davis Also Didn’t Have Great Lakers Debut

When Davis joined the Lakers, his first game wasn’t very impressive. In a 112-102 loss to the Clippers, the big man only made 8 of 21 shots and scored 25 points. Obviously, that’s not as bad as Westbrook’s debut, but it wasn’t the epic game that fans had hoped for. Davis made sure to relate to his new teammate.

“My first time, I sat next to LB, he looked at me, and he said, ‘You’re fine, this is Game 1,'” Davis said after the game. “He’s laughing. He’s joking on the phone. And I’m like, ‘Why am I upset then?’ And I kind of just went with the flow. And it’s the same thing with Russ. And I told him the same thing. ‘I’m the same way you were.’ We said some things to him, and he smiled and things like that, so I expect him to be better in the game Friday.”

These things take time and Westbrook will adjust. He’s not going to put up the same gaudy numbers he has in the past but he’ll be a dependable third star for the team.

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