Despite several attempts, the LA Lakers have reportedly failed to trade Russell Westbrook during the offseason. However, NBA analyst Brian Windhorst believes the Lakers are playing a waiting game and keeping their options open.
At “NBA Today” Windhorst spoke about the effects of the 2023 draft on the coming season. Although the Lakers have no chance of getting the top two picks, there could be a small chance they could make a trade if they miss the playoffs. Windhorst says:
“We could see teams midway through the season that typically continue to keep their foot down and try to get into the play-in tournament. Trying to catch lightning in a bottle and say guess what? It might not be a bad idea to swap some of our pieces and enter the lottery.”
After giving an example of what the Portland Trail Blazers had done by trading CJ McCollum last season, he continued:
“That’s why maybe the Lakers don’t want to make a deal with these future first-round picks and Russell Westbrook early in the season. Why not wait until mid-season to see it? The Lakers can’t get number one or two this year even if they miss the playoffs.
“The Lakers may have an incentive to wait until midseason because the Lakers have a great opportunity to eventually trade Russell Westbrook’s expiring contract and these draft picks. So I think Wembanyama could have a big impact this year, even on the teams that couldn’t directly get a chance to get him.”
Victor Wembanyama is expected to be the top pick in the 2023 draft. The French native has attracted the attention of the whole league. Teams have reportedly started evaluating their options to see if they can find the best prospects in Europe.
Russell Westbrook has been sensational in preseason so far
With some good preseason games, fans are starting to think this will be a comeback year for Russell Westbrook. He took better care of the ball, finished on the edge and most importantly improved his 3-point shooting.
While it’s still preseason, fans are hoping Westbrook can carry that form into the regular season. However, the area of being defensively active continues to be problematic. The all-star guard was caught spotting the ball a few times in the preseason games.
It will be interesting to see how things play out for the Lakers this season. Kendrick Perkins believes Patrick Beverley will have a positive impact on Westbrook and the two can become one of the best backcourt duos defensively.
The Lakers play their first regular season game on October 19 against the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors.