Do not be deceived by the Los Angeles Lakers win over the Nets on Sunday. Just the night before, the visitors worked hard for a victory over the Clippers. Fatigue was definitely a factor for Brooklyn, while the Los Angeles Lakers were able to catch their breath after losing to Sacramento on Friday.
“They’re so bad that you can pass gas and they’ll think it’s perfume compared to what the hell the Lakers are doing in Los Angeles,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith blatantly declared on Thursday. “They are stinking up the city of Los Angeles. “It is an atrocity; they are bad,” Smith continually exclaimed.
For a team that, on paper, should be competitive, the Lakers’ season has so far been worrisome. Currently, the team is 3-10 and 14th in the West, and fans and members of the media are already waving the white flag on its behalf. The culprit for their horrendous start to the season has been their lack of shooting. So far as a team, they have shot 30% from three and 45% from the field, and the purple and gold appear to get worse with each passing game.
The key to winning basketball games is simple: get the ball in the basket. And in a time where shooting has become the primary weapon for any team, the Lakers’ decision to trade away their shooters to get Russell Westbrook is coming back to haunt them. The call to make moves in an attempt to make their season respectable at the very least is getting louder and louder.
LeBron James, who has been labeled the suspect for the Lakers’ struggles, appears to have no plans of leaving Los Angeles. But anybody who follows the NBA knows that he has the ability to influence the front office’s decisions; it is what got them here in the first place. Whether or not you like to admit it, the trajectory of their season and his time with the Lakers will likely leave a stain on his legacy.
It is very unlikely for them to trade Anthony Davis, which means the only viable trade piece on their roster is Russell Westbrook. This narrative is far from new. After suffering his worst season in the NBA, fans questioned Westbrook’s future with the Lakers and in the league. The acquisition of Westbrook’s former foe, Patrick Beverley, was seen as a move to push him out of LA.
However, Westbrook and Beverley look to have settled their differences for the Lakers’ sake. Westbrook is also getting his groove back on the court as the sixth man. Converting Westbrook from a struggling starter to a reliable role player not only makes him an asset on the floor but also brings back some of his trade value.
There are several possible trade scenarios for the Lakers to acquire shooters in exchange for Russell Westbrook. A few notable ones include a trade with Charlotte for Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier or Kelly Oubre Jr., and a trade with Utah to bring Jordan Clarkson back to Los Angeles with one or two pieces. The Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs are also in possession of players on the Lakers’ hypothetical wishlist.
The Los Angeles Lakers cannot hope for a miraculous turnaround for their season, they simply have to end the frustration surrounding the team. While the remedy is staring them right in the face, they basically have to restore an old car to bring back its market value.
As soon as they find a remotely decent trade for Russell Westbrook, they can hope for the best and restore what’s left of their season.