Figuring out what is a real problem and what is an overreaction during the early portion of an NBA season can be really hard. Having said that, it certainly does not feel like an overreaction to say that the Los Angeles Lakers are in trouble — the team started the year 0-3 and features the worst offense in the league. While the team’s defense has been exceptional, the team’s shooting woes are well-documented and have been quite the hurdle that they need to overcome.
The easy answer is to say the team needs to do something with Russell Westbrook, whose role on the team has come under scrutiny for some time. But as it turns out, that does not mean the team is looking for a trade right now, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Wojnarowski noted that the more likely option is for Westbrook to come off of the bench, calling the whole thing “inevitable unless his performance changes.”
“I think a Russell Westbrook move to the bench is probably inevitable… Utah, Indiana, who the Lakers talked with a lot in the offseason, I’m told they’ve not heard from the Lakers yet this season.”
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 26, 2022
“The big trades that people want with the Lakers — Westbrook and his $47 million out with those first-round picks the Lakers have in ’27, ’29, all the deals the Lakers didn’t wanna do in the offseason, that’s all that’s there two weeks into the season,” Wojnarowski said. “Teams don’t really get serious about doing deals and maybe pivoting away from trying to be a playoff team or trying to go toward the Lottery in a year where there’s Victor Wembanyama available, they’re not gonna do that until 20 or 30 games into the season. So, all the deals the Lakers didn’t think gave them enough value for trading those picks, they’re all still there — Utah, Indiana, who the Lakers talked with a lot in the offseason, I’m told they’ve not heard from the Lakers yet this season.”
Through three games this season, Westbrook is averaging 10.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 28.7 minutes per game while shooting 28.9 percent from the field and 8.3 percent from three.