Lakers Rumors: Westbrook 'More Likely' to Be Off Roster by Camp After Beverley Trade

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 25, 2022

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Patrick Beverley's arrival for the Los Angeles Lakers could lead to Russell Westbrook's exit.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday the Lakers were sending Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz in a trade to land Beverley. Westbrook immediately came to mind for some fans given the history of back-and-forths the two guards have had.

Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported Thursday the addition of Beverley "makes it more likely that Westbrook will be off the active roster by the start of training camp, either through a trade or the team sending him home a la the Rockets with John Wall last season."

Buha noted there likely won't be an imminent move, although Los Angeles "is still actively pursuing Westbrook deals and other avenues to improve the roster before training camp."

It should be clear Westbrook's future with the Lakers was never a sure thing even before they acquired Beverley.

After all, his fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis was anything but ideal last season as the team struggled to a 33-49 record that wasn't even good enough to qualify for the play-in tournament.

The future Hall of Famer has always been a ball-dominant player, but his poor three-point shooting (30.5 percent in his career and 29.8 percent last season) was a detriment for a team that needed outside marksmen around James when defenders collapsed on the King.

A Beverley and Westbrook pairing would be yet another wild card for a team that will be under the spotlight throughout the 2022-23 campaign.

Sanjesh Singh of NBC Sports noted "their animated rivalry dates back years" and includes plenty of trolling through social media, critical comments through the press and physical play on the court.

That physical play Beverley is known for could help the Lakers on the defensive end considering he is a three-time All-Defensive selection who held opponents to 1.5 percent worse shooting than their normal averages and 8.1 percent worse shooting from deep when he guarded them last season, per NBA.com.

And he may have the chance to guard Westbrook once again if the nine-time All-Star is on a different team.


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