LeBron James admitted to being disappointed that his team didn’t land his former championship teammate, and Russell Westbrook’s brother Ray reacted on Twitter.
Lol this is wild man 😂😂😂😂…
— ray westbrook (@whynotraywest) February 6, 2023
The Lakers were reportedly offering Russell Westbrook and also willing to give up both their 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks in order to acquire the perennial All-Star. However, in the end, they reportedly had concerns about Irving’s professionalism and commitment to basketball, which may have caused them to not do everything it would’ve taken to land him.
Irving has made headlines over the last few years off the court for the wrong reasons, which has led to him not being consistently available for the Nets.
Now that he has been traded, the Mavs will have to figure out how to keep him engaged while also giving him a contract extension that would keep him in Dallas past this season.
Meanwhile, the Lakers have been left trying to figure out how they can upgrade their roster ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.
They sorely lack 3-point shooting, and they could also use more defensive muscle and help on the boards. They’re rumored to be interested in a deal with the Utah Jazz that would bring them Mike Conley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley for Russell Westbrook, although L.A. reportedly has several other potential trade partners.
As it stands now, the team has a very solid roster, especially after the addition of forward Rui Hachimura, but it lacks continuity, as it has gone with many different starting lineups this season.
That lack of continuity has manifested itself most on the defensive end. The Lakers gave up 131 points in a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, and overall, they rank 20th in defensive rating this season.