Things didn’t go as planned for Los Angeles Lakers this season. Injuries, poor formation and disappointing play by several key players combined to put them in seventh place at the Western Conference with a 21-21 scoreline. From pre-season title hopes to “can they avoid the play-in tournament” in the span of several months.
What’s worse is that due to their salary cap and roster situation, the Lakers don’t have much flexibility to make changes as they want to dig themselves out of this hole and back into the mainstream. West. They used most of their interesting deals in Russell Westbrook deal with this season and send most of their future tradable draft picks to New Orleans Pelicans because the Anthony Davis in 2019.
Make side moves – such as trading Rajon Rondo arrive Cleveland Cavaliers to open a spot on the list – really their only options. That is, unless they really want to blow things up by trading Westbrook. And according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, they were quietly discussing such a possibility early this season. But while such a deal is unlikely, it’s in large part due to Westbrook’s hefty salaries ($44 million this year, $47 next year) and the pathetic play at the border that has at times become a story big enough for Westbrook to deal with the rumors.
In an interview with Amick, Westbrook dismissed any concerns, saying he has dealt with commercial rumors before and they will have no effect on how he approaches the game.
“I never worry,” he countered. “Do your job. Be professional. Every year my name is in the commerce (rumor). It’s never, ever, never been ingrained in the way I approach the publicity. That’s what I was told there (in the press conference) I find this game very different (in terms of) how it can be used to influence things.
“Regardless if (a transaction) had happened or if it hadn’t happened, nothing would change my mentality or my purpose. I feel like I have a bigger purpose than basketball and I’ve always considered it.” that’s my primary goal no matter what happens inside professional sports.”
Westbrook’s first season with the Lakers hasn’t gone well overall, and it’s been especially painful in recent weeks. Since the calendar year to 2022, Westbrook has averaged just 12.4 points and six assists per game, while shooting 29.3% from the pitch and 0% from the ground 3 points (0 for 12). The Sacramento Kings even recently trolled him as the game’s “ice cold” player – a bit they were asked not to continue.
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As the issues roll over for Westbrook and the Lakers, the comments will only grow louder – from fans and opponents, if Memphis Grizzlies‘Recent trash talk is any indication. And with the exception of a surprising series of events ahead of time, Westbrook will be with the team for the long haul. If the Lakers really wanted to figure this out, it would have to happen from within.
https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/lakers-russell-westbrook-dismisses-effects-of-trade-rumors-i-never-worry/ Lakers’ Russell Westbrook dismisses influence of trade rumors: ‘I’m never worried’