3 reasons why LA Lakers shouldn’t pursue Russell Westbrook

The LA Lakers and Washington Wizards have been the subject of recent NBA trade rumors concerning Russell Westbrook.

Marc J Spears of The Undefeated has reported that the LA Lakers have a potential trade offer to acquire Westbrook from the Wizards. Aside from eyeing Chris Paul to man their starting point guard position, another option is purportedly to get the nine-time All-Star.

“According to sources, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have been on the hunt for a veteran point guard, and Paul is on the list. There have also been talks about Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook being a potential candidate to move back home to Los Angeles in a sign-and-trade deal that could include free agent point guard Dennis Schroder, forward Kyle Kuzma and guard Talen Horton-Tucker, sources said,” Spears wrote.

NBA Trade Rumors: Russell Westbrook to the LA Lakers looks good on paper

Adding Russell Westbrook to a team that already has LeBron James and Anthony Davis would turn the LA Lakers into another superteam with super high expectations. If you’re playing NBA 2K21, this is the kind of trade you’ll do. But in the real world, this concoction is likely going to end up in disaster.

Here are three reasons why the LA Lakers should avoid trading for the 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook:

#1 Russell Westbrook is too ball-dominant

Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards - Play-in Tournament
Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards – Play-in Tournament

Russell Westbrook works well when he has the ball and calling the shots most of the time. He averaged a triple-double during the 2020-21 season, registering 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists per game.

Though his usage rate of 30.2% was his lowest in 11 years, it’s hard to imagine Westbrook and James (31.9% usage rate) co-existing. The last time Russ shared the court with another ball-dominant player was in Houston with James Harden. Their 2019-20 season ended in a loss to the LA Lakers in the playoffs, and they both left the Rockets soon thereafter.

For years, many have called for James to let go of the reins and let another player call the shots in offense. The King is already 36, and he still doesn’t feel comfortable without the ball in his hands most of the time.

Westbrook is an excellent distributor, but James may not yet be ready to consistently wait for the ball before taking a shot.