It might be the commerce that shakes up the Western Convention (and the NBA basically), and in that regard it might land on the entrance doorstep of the champion Lakers—the workforce that was the highest seed within the West by a helpful margin and simply put aside its convention foes within the playoffs, successful three sequence by a mixed 12-Three margin.
However the possibilities of the Lakers themselves getting concerned within the sweepstakes that could possibly be coming for Houston level guard Russell Westbrook are minimal. L.A. simply doesn’t have the property—and doubtless doesn’t have the need—to get into talks about Westbrook with the Thunder.
Westbrook, traded from Oklahoma Metropolis in the summertime of 2019, is pushing to flee from Houston, the place the Rockets have pushed out each their coach (Mike D’Antoni) and their normal supervisor (Daryl Morey).
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 12, 2020
In accordance with league sources, in reality, we will count on the Lakers to remain distant.
“Russ has not been nice for chemistry in each place he has been,” one normal supervisor instructed Heavy.com. “He is an efficient man within the locker room and different gamers love him however on the ground, he’s going to place an finish to your playbook. He’s going to dominate your offense in a means your coaches and different gamers should not going to love. There are some groups that can wish to become involved however the Lakers wouldn’t be one.”
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The Knicks, Clippers, and Hornets are among the many groups reported to be excited by a Westbrook commerce.
Rockets, Clippers commerce speak of Paul George, Robert Covington, Russ Westbrook & Rockets’ 2023 1st spherical choose has been mentioned, I’ve heard.
Rockets perspective: “Insane deal.”
— 👑📍Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, M.A. (@ScoopB) November 13, 2020
Russell Westbrook Would Be a Unhealthy Match Subsequent to LeBron James, Anthony Davis
The Lakers are out there for a 3rd star, and on paper, Westbrook makes some sense. He’s from Southern California and went to UCLA for faculty ball. He can definitely rating, averaging 27.2 factors per recreation final 12 months with the Rockets.
However with LeBron James and Anthony Davis already in place, and already firmed up because the workforce’s two 25-plus-points-per-game scorers, whomever the workforce introduced in must be safe in his function as No. Three on the choice chart. Westbrook has struggled even to simply accept a No. 2 function. It might be troublesome to see how he might co-exist with the 2 Lakers major scorers.
Even when the Lakers did need Westbrook, although, they might be restricted of their skill to take action. Westbrook is slated to make $41 million subsequent 12 months, and underneath NBA guidelines, the Lakers would want to return near matching that payout, except a 3rd workforce was concerned. Westbrook is owed greater than $125 million over the subsequent three years, and bringing him to the Lakers would erase any skill for the workforce to assault the free-agent market in 2021.
A Unhealthy Breakup of Westbrook, Houston Rockets Is Huge for Lakers
The mere undeniable fact that Westbrook is sad in Houston is a boon to the Lakers, even when they by no means become involved in talks for him.
Houston was, in spite of everything, the Lakers’ second-round opponent within the West playoffs, and was extensively thought of to be L.A.’s greatest risk to win the convention, outdoors of the Clippers. The Rockets gained the sequence opener, however the Lakers gained 4 straight video games after that.
The Rockets dedicated to a small-ball type of play underneath coach Mike D’Antoni and normal supervisor Daryl Morey. The unorthodox type of play would, many felt, put the Lakers (and others) at a drawback, however that drawback by no means actually materialized. Even within the opening spherical, the underdog Thunder took Houston to seven video games earlier than ultimately dropping.
Within the offseason, long-simmering tensions between proprietor Tillman Fertitta and D’Antoni brought about D’Antoni to stroll away from the workforce and Morey adopted D’Antoni out of city shortly thereafter. That has left the workforce searching for a restart, and has left stars like Westbrook and Harden contemplating a run for the exits.
Westbrook, although, wished to clarify that he was not against taking part in with Harden. That suggestion as made by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, a cost that Westbrook known as “fabricated” on an Instagram publish.
Nonetheless, it has turn out to be more and more clear that one of many Lakers’ huge West rivals is headed for a severe tumble.
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