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The Lakers Must Do Whatever They Can to Trade Russell Westbrook

Ryan Phillips
Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages
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The Los Angeles Lakers have limped to a 15-13 record thus far on the season and appear to be anything but a well-oiled machine. The franchise's move to import Russell Westbrook over the summer was misguided from the start, but has been just as bad a fit as could have been imagined. The Lakers have already discussed moving Westbrook and they absolutely should take any trade they can get for him.

Westbrook was never a fit with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. A ball-dominant guard, who doesn't defend and can't shoot from the perimeter was never the missing piece in LA. What James and Davis badly needed were shooters to help space the floor. What they needed was a guy like Buddy Hield instead.

Rob Pelinka wound up pulling the trigger on Westbrook instead of a knockdown shooter, surrendering valuable trade pieces to get him. While Westbrook coming home to LA to try and compete for a title on his boyhood favorite team is a nice story, the marriage has been a disaster on the court.

Westbrook has been horrendous defensively and while he's put up some decent counting stats, he isn't helping the team win games. He's second in the NBA in turnovers, averaging 4.6 per game, and his PER of 16.29 is the worst since his rookie season. In short, this is an outright disaster.

The Lakers will face significant obstacles moving Westbrook. He's making $44.2 million this season and holds a player option for $47 million for the 2022-23 campaign. He's absolutely going to opt-in to the final year of his contract. Who is going to eat Westbrook's $47 million deal for next season when he's a declining player now?

If the Lakers find a taker for Westbrook they should absolutely unload him as fast as possible. This roster just doesn't work as constructed. At this point LA should take any lifeline it can to blow the AD-LeBron-Russ trio up.

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