Patrick Beverley was recently traded to the Lakers for Stanley Johnson and Talen Horton-Tucker. This add for the Lakers who have seen a lot of problems in the last couple of years. The addition of Beverley should help the team defensively. The one problem with all of this is Russell Westbrook. Westbrook had an up-and-down season last year with the Lakers and was a liability at times. It’ll be a struggle for the Lakers for Westbrook and Beverley to work well together in Los Angeles.
Can Westbrook and Beverley Coexist in LA?
On the Court Play
Westbrook didn’t have a great season last year playing alongside LeBron James. Westbrook is a very on-ball dominant player and playing alongside another playmaker took away from his skills. Despite being a point guard, Beverley shouldn’t take the ball out of Westbrook’s hand too much. Beverley had plenty of experience last year playing off the ball for D’Angelo Russell.
Westbrook also isn’t the greatest shooter in the league. He shot an ugly 29.8% from beyond the arc. Beverley on the other hand should help with that as he shot 37.8% from three over the course of his career. Beverley’s ability to space and move around will be something the Lakers have struggled with the last couple of years.
Another huge issue for the Lakers was defense. They finished 23rd in the league when it came to teams’ general defense. Beverley has overall always been a good defensive player in the league throughout his tenure. That paired alongside Lakers head coach Darwin Ham hoping to turn Westbrook into a defensive specialist will turn that ranking around.
Off the Court Struggles
The Lakers were already having issues off the court before Beverley’s presence. There were reports of James unhappy with Westbrook and lack of communication. Adding Beverley to this team is a ticking time bomb.
Beverley has always been seen as a very controversial locker room guy. Sometimes it works out well like in Minnesota where he changed the culture. Other times like with the Clippers he tends to rub players the wrong way. His win-first mentality will be exactly what the Lakers need to win but could come across as irritating to the already proven stars on the Lakers.
On top of this, Westbrook and Beverly have had their fair share of run-ins when it comes to issues. Westbrook once told the media that all Beverley does is run around and he tricks everyone with how good he is at defense. Recently, Beverley responded by saying that Westbrook was the true magician this year when it came to tricking people. Both guys don’t seem to have respect for each other but will need to solve any problems before the season in order to win.