Russell Westbrook has an uncertain future with the Los Angeles Lakers after the franchise acquired Veteran Guard – and Westbrook Nemesis Patrick Beverly of the Utah jazz.
Jovan Buha from The Athletic reported this week that the Lakers are expected to trade Westbrook or not let him play.
“Beverley’s arrival makes it more likely that Westbrook will be out of the active squad by the time training camp begins, either through a trade or the team that sent him home à la Rockets with John Wall last season, according to a source who close to the situation,” Buha wrote.
The Beverly acquisition deal, which sent Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to Utah, came after the Brooklyn Nets announced Kevin Durant would remain. The announcement likely means the same for Kyrie Irving, who has been widely linked with the Lakers in trade talks this offseason.
Beverley, 34, spent the 2021-22 NBA season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He averaged 9.2 points, 4.6 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting 40.6%/34.3%/72.2%. Beverley was part of Minnesota’s commercial package for the Rudy Gobert jazz center.
And at that point, “Undisputed” co-host Skip Bayless said he saw Beverley as more valuable to the Lakers than Westbrook.
“That suggested to me that something might be brewing,” Bayless said of the trade. “The skids had been lubricated to get rid of soot. Maybe they got a deal for Russ because I don’t think it’s going to work out between the two, not to mention the fact that Patrick is leaving now taking up some, if not a whole lot, of Russ’ minutes.
“As God is my witness, I believe Patrick Beverley is better than Russell Westbrook right now. It is more valuable in many ways. He’s a much better three-point shooter. He’s a better playmaker. … He doesn’t make spectacular plays, but he makes the right plays.”
Does the Beverly trade mark the end of the Westbrook-Lakers era?
Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless share what they think will happen to Russell Westbrook and the Lakers next season.
Los Angeles acquired Westbrook from the Washington Wizards in 2021. He and the Lakers went 33-49 last season and missed the Western Conference playoffs. Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4%/29.8%/66.7%.
With another potential lead guard in the mix (Beverley), how do head coach Darvin Ham and the Lakers bring the pieces together?
Shannon Sharpe doesn’t see the Lakers telling Westbrook to go home as he expects either a trade or a buyout.
“I just have such a hard time believing that the Lakers would just send him home like John Wall,” Sharpe said. “I think the Lakers can trade Russ. His agent basically said, ‘You’ve got to throw in that extra pick.’ The only way Russ is traded for is this: he and his agent have to agree: ‘You are being bought. We are trading for you to buy you.'”
Los Angeles signed Lonnie Walker, Thomas Bryant, Troy Brown, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones this offseason.
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