The Lakers’ pursuit of the third giant finally allowed Russell Westbrook to return to his hometown.
Just before the start of the draft on Friday, Werner rosky broke the news that the Lakers had decided to trade pop, Kuzma and Harrell and the first round signing of this year’s draft to the wizards for Westbrook.
Wei Shao has moved many teams since he left the thunder. Can he meet the Lakers’ demand for giants? How will he coexist with LeBron and Davis? What does this deal mean for the future of the wizards with bill?
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Lakers score: D
This deal “may be useful to us”, which is the idea of the team that has accepted Westbrook when he has been traded over the past few years.
In the summer of 2019, the Rockets sent Paul away, plus two protected first round signings and two draft rights exchange opportunities, in exchange for Westbrook from the thunder. As a result, they lost to the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs, resulting in Westbrook and harden all applying for trade.
Then there was the wizards, who traded their highly paid point guard Walter for Westbrook and paid a protected first round signing. Although the Wizards had a momentum in the playoffs, they were still defeated in the first round and eliminated by the 76ers. Now, obviously, Westbrook is going to leave again.
Of course, Westbrook left the rockets and wizards because he didn’t want to stay on a sunken ship. The Lakers are not a “sunken ship”. Neither LeBron nor Davis can ask to leave Los Angeles. But for the rockets and wizards, the introduction of Westbrook apparently failed to stop them from sinking.
Then, consider the reason why the Lakers think Westbrook “may be useful”. He has done very well in both the rockets and the Wizards. In the Rockets, after Capella was injured and a month and a half before the suspension of the season due to the epidemic, Westbrook ushered in the outbreak, averaging 31 points and shooting 52.5%, which can be called the best period of his career efficiency.
At the beginning of 2020-21 season, Westbrook suffered from injuries, but he still played a key role in the playoffs at the end of the season. In the last half of the regular season, he averaged 23 points, 13.5 rebounds and 14 assists, shocking the league.
At the end of the season, Westbrook’s playing style still had a great impact on defense. At the age of 32 (he will be 33 in November this year), he is still the most dominant ball holding attacker in the league. After the All-Star, the Wizards scored 57.4 points per game in the restricted area, and Westbrook was obviously the main driving force. He made 446 assists in the restricted area in the regular season, more than 100 times more than Trey young, who ranked second.
Bringing another top scoring creator for LeBron and Davis has at least a guarantee for the Lakers, that is, when these two stars are injured, the Lakers will not become headless flies. The Lakers had hoped that Schroeder could take this responsibility, but it was obvious that the latter failed to do so, and his talent was far inferior to Westbrook.
The question is, how can Westbrook cooperate with the Lakers’ dual core in positional warfare, especially when the Lakers have to meet Davis’s requirements to play power forward on the other hand. Remember, Westbrook broke out in the Rockets just when there was no traditional big one in the rocket lineup and completely liberated his attack space. The Wizards play more traditional, but Westbrook still performs better when playing No. 4 with Bertens, and the Wizards have higher overall offensive efficiency.
Not only did the Lakers not have such a shooter, they also gave up Kuzma (137 goals) and pop (120 goals), who hit the most three points in the team. Incredibly, LeBron is the only one who hit more than 100 three points last season. There were not many such teams in the NBA last season: only the Cavaliers and Magic were Lotto teams.
Maybe the Lakers can use Schroeder to complete the signing and changing deal and bring in a winger with shooting ability. If they can’t, they can only find people with 5.9 million middle-class exceptions. Moreover, the Lakers may have to use this middle class to strengthen the center, because only Pau Gasol has a contract in this position next season.