Russell Westbrook Listed as ‘Biggest Loser’ in Lakers Trade

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers

On Wednesday, August 24, the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Patrick Beverley, in the hope that he could provide an upgrade to the team’s porous perimeter defense.

To recap, the trade in question looked like this:

Lakers Received: Patrick Beverley

Utah Jazz Received: Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson

However, as the dust begins to settle, we’re left looking around, trying to decide who the winners and losers are. According to Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey, Russell Westbrook was the biggest loser in this trade.

“This move does indeed forecast more potential trades. And the path it could put Westbrook on will only damage his legacy in the long run, even if it’s mostly set…Westbrook’s only way off one of the most storied franchises in sports could be alongside sweeteners for his new team, one which will immediately cut him. At that point, what contender will be in the market to add him?” Bailey wrote on August 25.

Westbrook’s future has been precarious throughout the summer, with rumors swirling about his long-term future with the Lakers, and while adding Beverley certainly doesn’t spell the end for Westbrook, it does make the notion of him being traded seem all the more legitimate.

Westbrook & Beverley Have Frosty Relationship

Another reason to believe that Beverly’s arrival will spell the end of Westbrook’s Lakers tenure is that the pair have a well-documented rivalry, and it’s unlikely an on-court partnership will ever bare fruit.

In his August 25 article, The Atheltic’s Zach Harper also noted how the pair of guards have no love for each other – something which has spanned multiple years and never been resolved.

“First and foremost, putting Beverley and Russell Westbrook on the same team is objectively hilarious. Westbrook and Beverley have a long history of hating each other. Do you know how much fire has to be behind that hatred for it to last years and years, no matter which team you’re on and which team the other guy is on, especially when you face each other only a handful of times each season? Assuming Westbrook is still with the team at the start of the season, we’re going to see some awkward interactions between these two on the court, and someone’s act isn’t going to vibe with the other,” Harper wrote.

It will be interesting to see how the Lakers navigate this situation, especially as it’s highly likely they were aware of the pair’s issues before deciding to pull the trigger on the trade.

Kyrie Irving Appears to be Off The Table

Throughout the summer, the Lakers have focused their attentions on potentially acquiring Kyrie Irving via trade – as the superstar guard appeared to be disgruntled with his current situation with the Brooklyn Nets.

However, on August 4, SNY’s Ian Begley noted that Irving and the Nets front office had both decided to commit to each other for the upcoming season – essentially ending the Lakers’ chances of swapping star point guards.

The Lakers’ chances took another blow on August 23, when Kevin Durant rescinded his trade demand, and committed his future to Brooklyn – at least for the current season. So now, with the Nets appearing to be back in championship contention, it appears that the Lakers’ best chance of trading away Westbrook for a star-level return has evaporated.

So with Irving seemingly off the table, it will be interesting to see how Los Angeles and Westbrook navigate the coming weeks – especially if both parties are eager to find a resolution to the current situation.


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