Stephen A. Smith explains why Lakers will likely need to trade Russell Westbrook
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Stephen A. Smith doubts that Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley can co-exist together and he suggests the Lakers will have to trade Westbrook. A week ago, the Lakers completed a trade for Beverley. Westbrook and Beverley have a history and the animosity between the two is well-documented.
But their history aside, Smith feels they simply can't co-exist together on the floor. Neither Westbrook or Beverley are known as great shooters and that's what is making it tough for them to succeed alongside each other.
“I’m not questioning the game, I’m talking about the collaboration of [Russell Westbrook] with Patrick Beverley. If Patrick Beverley was somebody that could, even though he shot like 39% from three-point range before last season for the previous four years, he’s not known as a shooter and even when he does shoot it’s spot-up,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take.
“I think it’s a challenge of them co-existing. I think eventually you’ll have to find movement for Russell Westbrook, I don’t see this combination working for the Lakers”.
.@stephenasmith thinks the Lakers will end up trading Russell Westbrook ?
"Eventually you'll have to find movement for Russell Westbrook, I don't see this combination working for the Lakers." pic.twitter.com/bOpxRc5aZR — First Take (@FirstTake) August 26, 2022
The Lakers reportedly still not willing to simply quit on Westbroook
The Lakers have been trying to trade Westbrook since the start of free agency.
But the Lakers have been unable to find a trade partner as mostly no teams want to take Westbrook's $47 million contract for this upcoming season. Since the Lakers completed a trade for Beverley, some have suggested that the Lakers should simply send Westbrook home and wait until the season finishes and his contract expires.
But according to Marc Stein, the Lakers don't want to simply give up on Westbrook. If the Lakers don't find a trade partner for Westbrook, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham will try to find a role for him on the team. “Yet I am also hearing that, if no trade involving Westbrook materializes and if he is on the roster when the Lakers start practicing on Sept.
27, new Lakers coach Darvin Ham remains determined to carve out a real role for Westbrook,” Stein wrote for The Stein Line. “Sources say that the Lakers, to date, have strongly resisted the idea of shelving Westbrook completely until they can find a trade for him like the Rockets tried last season with John Wall — even after trading for longtime Westbrook adversary Patrick Beverley. Westbrook, who turns 34 in November, appeared in 78 of the Lakers’ 82 games last season”.