Report: LeBron, Westbrook, AD Met at James' Home This Month About Playing for Lakers

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 30, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) in action during the first half of Game 4 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, May 31, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

Russell Westbrook reportedly met with LeBron James and Anthony Davis at James' home two weeks ago to discuss the three of them playing together with the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the three players expressed their desire to bring the Lakers another championship by "putting their egos aside." Westbrook talked about "coming back home" to win a championship as well since he is from Long Beach, California.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers and Washington Wizards agreed to a trade Thursday that would send Westbrook and second-round picks in 2024 and 2028 to L.A. for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft.

The Wizards sent that pick to the Indiana Pacers for point guard Aaron Holiday and the No. 31 selection of Isaiah Todd, via the Milwaukee Bucks. The Pacers used the No. 22 pick on Kentucky forward Isaiah Jackson.

By acquiring Westbrook, the Lakers have put together their version of a "Big Three" in hopes of bouncing back from last season's first-round playoff exit after winning a championship in 2020.

L.A. boasts a four-time NBA MVP and four-time NBA Finals MVP in LeBron, an eight-time All-Star in Davis and a nine-time All-Star and one-time NBA MVP in Westbrook.

Per Turner, James and Davis told Westbrook they would be willing to switch positions to accommodate him with LeBron going from small forward to power forward and AD going from power forward to center.

Also, Westbrook reportedly said he would be comfortable playing off the ball when James is leading the way offensively, as he did with the Houston Rockets when he deferred to James Harden at times.

The 32-year-old Westbrook spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder before one-year stints with the Rockets and Wizards.

During his time with OKC, Westbrook was a two-time scoring champ and helped lead the Thunder to the NBA Finals once, where they lost to the LeBron-led Miami Heat.

In 2016-17, after Kevin Durant departed for the Golden State Warriors, Westbrook had a season for the ages. He led the NBA in scoring with 31.6 points per game while adding 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per contest as well.

That made Westbrook the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double over the course of a full season besides Oscar Robertson, and it helped net him win the NBA MVP award as well.

Westbrook has averaged a triple-double in four of the past five seasons, including last season when he put up 22.2 points, 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds per contest for Washington.

While Westbrook has some deficiencies, including shooting just 30.5 percent from beyond the arc for his career and turning the ball over more than four times per game, he gives the Lakers an elite playmaker and rebounder from the point guard position.

LeBron, Davis and Westbrook form a strong core provided they can stay healthy, but the key for Los Angeles is to fill out the roster with quality shooters and role players after giving up much of its depth in the Westbrook trade.


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