We have our first major Woj Bomb™ of the 2021 NBA offseason:
Wow. Just this morning, it seemed like the Lakers were extremely close to acquiring Buddy Hield from the Kings, but now things have taken a major turn and it appears the Lakers will be trading for Russell Westbrook. Maybe the Buddy Hield stuff was a smokescreen.
A few weeks ago, I was going to write about the possibility of Russ to the Lakers when the rumors started swirling after LeBron and AD started following Russ’ wife on Insta. But the piece ended up being really long and I never finished it.
It was mostly about how Russ would fit with LeBron and AD.
Right now, most people on social media are ripping this deal to shreds. They think it’s going to be a horrible fit with those three. I saw Skip & Shannon talking about it on Undisputed and it was one of the few things that those two actually agreed on: they hated the idea of Russ on the Lakers. So did Chris Broussard, but Chris Broussard is always wrong about everything. I think Chris Broussard is the most reactionary NBA talking head in the business. He just says whatever the most obvious take is at the moment. Bucks win the title? Broussard says Giannis is the best player in the world. When the Raptors won the title, he wouldn’t stop talking about how Kawhi was the best and LeBron was washed. Basically with every playoff series, whichever team won the most recent game, Broussard would say the series is over and the team that just won will win the series.
Anyway, everyone is clowning the idea of Russ on the Lakers. “There’s no three point shooting!”
Okay, people: do you think LeBron and Rob Pelinka don’t know this? They know what Russ can and can’t do.
If this trade is happening, then it means LeBron and AD have signed off on it. Not only that, but I believe they have both been pushing for it for at least the past month. I think those two following Nina Westbrook on Insta was a sign that they’d been in contact with Russ behind the scenes trying to get him to the Lakers. That was them welcoming him and his wife to the Laker family.
LeBron and AD want Russ on the Lakers. They know they can make it work with him. They know he will make them better. All the people saying the Lakers are dumb for this: do you really think you’re smarter than LeBron, AD and Rob Pelinka? Do you know more about basketball than they do?
If LeBron wants Russ on his team, then I’m going to trust him.
People need to chill out on the “Who’s going to hit threes?!?!” talk. The Bucks just won an NBA title with their three best players shooting a combined 31.5% from three in the Finals.
Plus, the Lakers will be able to add shooters as the offseason progresses. Veterans will be lining up to take the minimum contract and join that team.
This is not a sign-and-trade deal for the Lakers, meaning acquiring Russ won’t trigger the hard cap for them. That’s a big deal, because if they were going to acquire someone like DeMar DeRozan, it would have been via sign-and-trade and a sign-and-trade triggers the hard cap.
People need to come to their senses here: this is the best thing Laker fans could’ve hoped for this offseason other than trading for Damian Lillard, which was probably never going to happen.
Don’t overthink this: Russell Westbrook is one of the best players in NBA history. He’s a Hall of Famer. He is an explosive playmaker who plays with unmatched fire and intensity. He is obviously going to make the Lakers significantly better. They are officially a super team with Russ in the fold. I think they’re better than Brooklyn.
The 2022 Lakers might be the best transition/fast-break team in NBA history. This team will absolutely live above the rim. It’s going to be spectacular. All three guys will just be tossing alley-oops to each other left and right.
And at last, LeBron will now be able to go to the bench and not worry about his team getting massively outscored. This is huge for him, because in the first round series against Phoenix, the Lakers were -49 in the minutes LeBron went to the bench. With him on the floor, they outscored Phoenix over the series’ six games.
Again, don’t overthink this. Russell Westbrook is a massive addition for the Lakers.
Who do you think would’ve made a bigger difference for the Lakers in the playoff series against Phoenix: Russell Westbrook, or Buddy Hield? Exactly.
As for Russell Westbrook, this is huge for his career. He is now in the best position to win a ring as he’s been since 2016, when he was in OKC with Kevin Durant.
When KD left Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook was bombarded by the sports media. They said it was his fault KD left, they said he was the problem, you can’t win a Championship with him–he got utterly slandered. Then KD started winning Championships with the Warriors, while Russ’ Thunder teams suffered first-round exits in the playoffs. People trashed Russ after KD left.
But now he’s finally got a Championship roster around him again. Now he has the opportunity to prove everyone who doubted him wrong. I’m happy for him in this regard, because while I understand why a lot of people don’t like his style of play, I don’t think he deserves all the slander he gets.
Russ now gets to play in his hometown of Los Angeles, where he grew up and played college ball. His family is there, and his wife Nina is also an LA native as well. I’m sure they’re thrilled to be going back home.
This is a massive move, assuming it does go through. Russell Westbrook is the best player the Lakers could’ve gotten this offseason other than Damian Lillard. He is a massive upgrade over Dennis Schroder. He answers all their questions at point guard.
The Lakers are about to be the most hated team in the league, maybe ever. But they’re going to be crazy good.