For at least the time being, Russell Westbrook is still a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and many feel he is an anchor dragging them down.
Fans have been dreaming of a big trade that would ship him out and bring in talent that would improve the team, but nothing of that sort has come close to happening this summer.
One Lakers reporter says the team as is will be a playoff team, but nothing more than that.
Via Lakers Daily:
“The Athletic’s Jovan Buha explained why he thinks the Lakers would fall short of a title run in his latest mailbag.
“‘No, I don’t believe the Lakers, as currently constructed, can win a championship,’ Buha wrote. ‘I think they can certainly make the playoffs, but I expect them to be a bottom-tier playoff team if [Russell] Westbrook is on the roster and playing (somewhere in the No. 6 to No. 9-seed range). If we compare their supporting cast to other top West teams, they fall significantly short.’”
Even if Westbrook buys into focusing more on defense and being productive without the ball, the Lakers have multiple deficiencies that will prevent them from being an elite team.
They still lack 3-point shooting, which was a big problem this past season, and it also appears they don’t have enough perimeter defense.
On the other hand, they have gotten much younger, significantly upgraded at the center position and should have a healthy Kendrick Nunn this coming season.
But given that these are the Lakers, and that they have LeBron James, returning to the playoffs or even reaching the Western Conference Finals just won’t cut it.
On this date: Jerry West retires from the Lakers
Source: Yahoo Sports