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Russell Westbrook has been a colossal failure in LA and now that the team is starting to realize this, they’re considering a trade. The problem is that GM Rob Pelinka is worried about the “optics” of dealing the first-year Laker.
What’s at work here is the team is too afraid to admit that trading for Westbrook instead of Buddy Hield was a mistake.
Lakers reportedly have 'optics concerns' about trading Russell Westbrook, won't include 2027 first-round pickhttps://t.co/G08VpffgbN
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) January 27, 2022
The last thing LeBron, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers need is to compound the mistake by failing to own up to it. Opting against trading Westbrook is pure desperation to save face when anyone with basketball sense could tell this team screwed up.
And what’s even more important is that LeBron James and Anthony Davis were essentially the only reason the Lakers pivoted to a Westbrook deal in the first place. Not like Rob Pelinka would be out as GM when everyone in the building knows who called this shot.
Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless discussed Westbrook this morning.
.@ShannonSharpe on the Lakers holding onto Westbrook due to "optics"
"This is the Lakers only move, it ain't because of optics. Nobody else is willing to trade for Westbrook and give the Lakers value in return. Ain't no body doing that deal." pic.twitter.com/Kp0VlCGfIT
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) January 27, 2022
Sharpe brings up an excellent point. A deal with Houston to trade John Wall for Westbrook and a first-round sweetener is the only move available, so there’s no sense in sifting through their options. There’s no need to weigh an offer on a house when you quite literally have only one offer. Sometimes it’s best to take what you can get and run.
Anyway, a deal with the Rockets will help the Lakers in the long run. John Wall is a better basketball player than Westbrook these days, if for no other reason than the fact that he’s healthy enough to play. Westbrook (and Davis) just can’t seem to avoid the injury bug.
The Lakers don’t have a first round pick until 2027, and it remains to be seen whether they pull the trigger on a deal to ship Westbrook elsewhere. Sad to see an all-time great go from MVP to journeyman who can’t even make it work with two superstars.