Lakers guard Russell Westbrook was anticipated to be an essential piece of their quest for an NBA championship. These expectations have fallen very brief thus far. 

Westbrook, who’s averaging 18.7 factors, 8.2 rebounds and eight.1 assists on 43.7 p.c taking pictures this season, has totaled simply 23 factors over his final three video games whereas making simply 8-of-40 shot makes an attempt. The Lakers misplaced two of these three video games and have misplaced eight of their final 13 contests relationship again to Dec. 17. 

MORE: NBA commerce rumors: Each participant who will turn out to be eligible to be traded on Jan. 15 

Whereas Los Angeles famous person ahead LeBron James has excelled this season, averaging 29.1 factors with 7.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists, Westbrook’s struggles and damage points with Lakers ahead Anthony Davis have saved the group from reaching its potential, together with accidents and COVID-19 associated absences. 

Regardless of these on-court considerations, Westbrook shared in a current interview with The Athletic’s Sam Amick that he’s nonetheless blissful being in Los Angeles, given that he’s a SoCal native and stays in shut proximity to his dad and mom and kids. 

“I’m in a position to be dwelling and be capable to embrace them,” Westbrook stated. “They get to see me, and as they become old I get to see my children each day and take them to high school each morning. To me, that brings pleasure.”

Right here’s extra from Westbrook’s interview. 

MORE: Who’s the best co-star for 76ers All-Star Joel Embiid in a possible Ben Simmons commerce? 

Basketball not ‘end-all-be-all’: 

Although Westbrook could also be on the commerce market forward of the deadline on Feb. 10, he stated he’s not involved of what followers and media alike take into consideration him. 

“I swear, no person can think about it for me as a result of all people thinks about basketball because the end-all-be-all, nevertheless it’s actually not, you already know?” he stated. “Sportswriters– all people’s obtained their very own opinion. However I actually consider that me with the ability to do (be in LA) and embrace my children, it makes them — it places a smile on my face no matter what’s occurring now.”

Westbrook’s slot in Los Angeles was met with skepticism when he was traded to the Lakers for guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, forwards Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell and the No. 22 choose within the 2021 NBA Draft final July. The Lakers had been ranked No. 23 in 3-point share final season and wanted extra flooring spacing round James and Davis. Westbrook is a profession 30.5% three-point shooter.

This season, the Lakers rank No. 14 in three-point share, however Westbrook is taking pictures simply 28.3% from distance. (Notice: Westbrook’s career-low from three is 22.1% and got here in 2009 with the Thunder.)

Westbrook has needed to change up his play-style with the Lakers— a ball-dominant origin of play — in efforts of extra chopping and short-roll play off of James. 

MORE: Ja Morant’s jaw-dropping athleticism is not the one purpose the Grizzlies star is dominating the paint like a 7-footer 

It has but to persistently work for the Lakers, who’ve adopted a five-game shedding streak with 5 wins in six contests after which two losses of their final 13 video games. Their up and down, inconsistent play has the Lakers at 21-21 on the halfway level of the season, ok for seventh within the Western Convention.

“We’re all making an attempt to determine it out as a group, as a unit, to have the ability to say, ‘Okay, how can we determine this out?’” Westbrook stated in our chat. “And I do know I’m the one who has obtained to make the largest sacrifice — and I perceive that — so I’ve obtained to have the ability to work out a method to have the ability to make one of the best out of it and make one of the best for this group and that’s it.

Will Westbrook be traded? 

With lower than a month remaining till the commerce deadline, it’s unclear if Westbrook shall be moved from Los Angeles. 

Set to make $44.2 million this season and a participant choice for subsequent season value over $47 million, discovering a suitor to tackle that giant of a contract for Westbrook’s present output shall be robust.  

In line with Amick, the 76ers reportedly have “zero” curiosity in a commerce for Westbrook and maybe ahead Ben Simmons. One other rumored bundle has been with the Timberwolves for guard D’Angelo Russell, although there does not seem to be a lot traction with it. 

MORE: Did the Knicks win the Cam Reddish commerce? Hawks reportedly ship former lottery choose to New York for Kevin Knox and first-round choose

For now, nevertheless, Westbrook is conscious of the chance and says he’s blissful in Los Angeles, regardless of the on-court struggles. 

“No matter if (a commerce) did occur or if it didn’t occur, nothing’s going to alter my mentality or my objective,” Westbrook advised Amick. “I really feel like I’ve a objective that’s larger than basketball and I at all times maintain that as my forefront no matter what occurs inside of professional sports activities.”





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