Three Reasons Why Russell Westbrook Should NOT Be Traded

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There is a lot that can be said about Russell Westbrook, especially after a very difficult NBA season. We have all seen the memes, the highlights, and even the trade talk. But why? Why has a nine-time All-Star become the scapegoat as the core reason the Los Angeles Lakers did not make the playoffs this season? Could be cohesion between Westbrook, Lebron James, and Anthony Davis? Is it the supporting cast not buying into Westbrook’s style of play? It can’t be the coaching, because as of this writing, that is no longer a problem.

While the Lakers will look at the various coaching options, which may include a former Laker legend, the point guard position should remain the same. These are 3 key reasons why Westbrook should be a Laker for next season.

Three Reasons Why Russell Westbrook Should NOT Be Traded

Less Point Lebron, The Better

As much as we love James driving down the lane and terrorizing the interior, the ball-dominant 37-year-old can do with a change. Touches when needed aside, James enjoys his sidestep threes and half-court heroics. But could he become a knockdown shooter?

Over the past four years, James has maintained a 35% average from behind the arc while attempting eight threes a game this year. While the number is not great, in context, it is better than his 2015-16 championship year with Cleveland. So why not let Westbrook draw in the attention as a guard should and kick it to the corner for a three?

Ask Vince Carter about switching his game for the betterment of the team. This may be sacrilegious to many of James’ supporters, but when one of the biggest team drawbacks this year was shooting, it does not hurt to try.

All About The Schemes With Westbrook

There has much talk throughout the past 82 games that the coaching schemes of Frank Vogel could be the reason for the Lakers’ failures.

Between his judgment calls on defense, conversations about Westbrook’s fit with the team at the end of games, to his overall performance, his tenure was shaky. How do you lead the former NBA champions to a 23rd in offensive rating with almost the same team?

Regardless, it became less about how Westbrook can lead this team as he did plenty of others in the past, and more about how he can be an afterthought.

Optimism should exist. Give Westbrook a coach that can have him become the assists leader that was evident in every NBA stop minus the Lakers. Then once you find him a coach…

Let Russ Be Russ

It was only a year ago when Westbrook averaged 22 points, 11 assists,s and 11 rebounds per game. So how come moving from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles changed that? It’s simple: pressure.

James-led teams, and past teammates, have shared stories of the intensity it breeds to be in the spotlight. And while that same spotlight Westbrook had in Oklahoma City may not be the same in L.A., the attention is there. If you mix in the anticipation of finally winning your first title, you are bound to develop hesitation.

For 2022-2023, those restrictions should severely be lifted. Throw in the fact of the majority of the team are now free agents, and you get a chance to clean slate a situation tailored for a major comeback. Here’s a tip: find consistent shooters.

In the end…

None of us are General Managers. At this point, even that job position may become vacant soon. But one position that should not change is Westbrook running this team at the point. Doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance?

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