Los Angeles Lakers fans know all too well that the addition of Russell Westbrook last summer did not bear the fruits that many had hoped for.
It became clear early on in the 2021-22 NBA season that Westbrook was not comfortable with his role in the team’s lineup, and he never really improved from there.
That was a big part of the reason why the team was reportedly looking for ways to deal Westbrook prior to the trade deadline last season. It remains a big part of the reason why various reports have indicated the Lakers remain interested in trying to deal him.
With that in mind, a more recent update does indicate that members of the team’s front office and coaching staff are interested in seeing if Westbrook can still work on the team’s roster.
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“I really believe this front office group, this management group, the coaching staff, Russell Westbrook, they all want this work,” Shams Charania said.
The Lakers have failed to move Westbrook up to this point, and there are no real signs that anything has changed on that front. For that reason, keeping Westbrook on the roster and trying to make it work may really be the Lakers’ only realistic option.
There’s no doubt that Westbrook is a major talent. Though he has been panned for his play last season, he still averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game. Perhaps more impressively, he played in 78 of the team’s 82 regular season games while much of L.A.’s roster was decimated by injuries throughout the season.
If Westbrook can learn to play alongside the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis and work on improving his shot selection and efficiency, there is little doubt that he’ll be an asset to the team. But all that is much easier said than done.