Russell Westbrook-to-Lakers Gets 2 Votes for Worst Move of Offseason in NBA Survey

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 19, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook poses for a photo with his jersey at an introductory NBA basketball news conference in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
AP Photo/Kyusung Gong

The Los Angeles Lakers added a third star in Russell Westbrook alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but not everyone thinks it was a smart trade.

Two out of 10 NBA scouts and executives voted the Westbrook trade as the offseason's worst move, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

"Look, I'm trying to give LeBron the benefit of the doubt on this," a Western Conference scout said. "But given what they could've done, I don't see that fit working out over the course of the season. I'm a huge Westbrook fan. I just don't like the fit."

Three voters thought the Chicago Bulls signing DeMar DeRozan was the worst move throughout the league, while three more gave their votes to the entire New Orleans Pelicans offseason. 

The Washington Wizards, meanwhile, were praised by one voter who said dealing Westbrook was the best move of the offseason.

"They were trapped," an East executive said of the Wizards. "Now, they have flexibility, and it changes the fact they don't have this giant anchor hanging around their heads."

The Wizards acquired Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a first-round pick for Westbrook, sending the point guard away after just one season.

Westbrook remains an elite weapon, averaging a triple-double last season for the fourth time. He led the league with 11.7 assists per game to go with his averages of 22.2 points and 11.5 rebounds. 

With two scoring titles, nine All-Star selections and one MVP award, Westbrook gives the Lakers another superstar who can carry the team as they seek another championship.

There are still concerns about his fit with the team, especially with spacing as a 30.5 percent career three-point shooter. He might also need to give up touches with LeBron running the offense.

Still, the Lakers will have a chance to prove the doubters wrong during the 2021-22 season.