The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook last summer to create a Big three at the franchise. While everyone expected the LA Lakers to dominate the season, they ended up having a miserable year with an embarrassing 33-59 record. They even failed to qualify for the playoffs. While there were many reasons, including injuries, and misfits, Westbrook was handed the most part of the failure. The LeBron, Davis, and Westbrook trio did not work out as expected for the Lakers. Westbrook clearly struggled to fit around LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the 21 games they played together last season. The trio put up a below-par 11-10 record before Davis lost half of the season due to a series of injuries.
LeBron took up the responsibility of scoring for the Lakers and fought in the defense at the same time. However, Westbrook continued to struggle with three-point shooting and defense making it harder for James. The LA Lakers were willing to trade the $47 million worth nine-time All-Star this offseason. However, his lack of performance and enormous player option has kept other teams away from Russell. Hence, the Lakers might have to trust their Big three once again to take the Lakers back to their glory next season.
Russell Westbrook To Stay With The Lakers?
As per NBA Insider Chris Haynes, LeBron, Anthony, and Russell reportedly had a phone conversation, during which the trio expressed their commitment to each other. They hope to make the partnership work and take the Lakers to a championship win next season. The phone call situation suggests that Westbrook is likely to be a Laker next season. The call was conducted to make sure that the three stars were on the same page after speculations about tensions between James and Westbrook. Both the LA Lakers players attended LA’s Summer League games in Las Vegas. However, they did not interact with each other despite sitting across from one another.
Meanwhile, the Lakers fired their head coach Frank Vogel after a disappointing season. And Darvin Ham has been recruited as his replacement and given the responsibility to lead the Lakers next season. Ham has also shown his confidence in Westbrook and suggested that he could play a crucial role in the Lakers’ success next season. However, Russell’s future at the lakers is still uncertain. He had been included in a lot of possible trade deals. One such trade possibility is with the Nets, as the LA Lakers were interested in Kyrie Irving.
However, the trade talks are going nowhere as the Nets do not want Westbrook. Brooklyn would want a third team to be involved in the discussions. Thus, the Lakers might have to offer their drafts if they want to get rid of Russell, which they are unwilling to offer. So, it is highly likely that the big three would be in action for the Lakers during the 2022-23 season.