Without a trade at the moment, the Lakers continue to probe the market and discuss with suitors. Unfortunately for them, the returns are complicated, since Rob Pelinka refuses to give up certain assets to recruit big names. However, there is urgency with the training camp approaching, which means that the front office will have to make a choice.
The month of August is already here, which leaves a big month of work for the franchises to conclude their workforce. We know that teams like to have their roster available for the start of training camp, in order to better prepare for the upcoming campaign. For the Lakers, it will be decisive, especially after the fiasco of the last season. Jeanie Buss, the owner, has promised major changes if such a drama were to repeat itself.
There is some pressure for LeBron James and company, even more than usual. The obligation to win is present, but one question remains: will the team trust Russell Westbrook ? The point guard was disappointing, and clearly seems on a downward slope. The trader is a logical decision, although Rob Pelinka refuses to do what is necessary to keep these draft rounds (2027 and 2029).
The Lakers don’t have much time left for Westbrook
Either Pelinka holds on to it and refuses to give up the first rounds, or the leader plays for time and hopes for change in the market. It’s possible with the Nets, since Kyrie Irving is a free agent in a year, forcing the team to make a choice about him. According to The Athletic, the Angelinos will have to do the same with Westbrook, and before camp. To keep Brodie is to potentially compromise the atmosphere of the locker room.
There is a time when the Lakers will have to decide the fate of Russell Westbrook, since the front office could miss the opportunity to trade him very soon. There is an impression that the unofficial deadline will be for training camp. If he’s still on the roster late enough in September, there will be plenty of distractions off the court. The media will ask about his future, his relationship with James and the organization, or Darvin Ham’s vision and responsibilities.
Indeed, Westbrook does not need to manage the media at present, like his teammates elsewhere. But during the recovery, he will have the obligation to present himself and play his role, which means answering sensitive questions. A perilous exercise, especially given all the rumors of the summer. If Brodie is still there in a month, it’s because the Purple and Gold are ready to take the hits.
But until then, a lot can still happen. We know that the Lakers continue to negotiate with various teams, including the Knicks and the Jazz. The two franchises could mount a major trade across the league, involving two stars. Brodie is concerned, which means the point guard must prepare for everything in the coming weeks.
If Russell Westbrook stays at the Lakers, we can be sure that the atmosphere will be explosive on the floor, but also outside. Constant pressure, with the media wanting to know everything about the events of the summer. Not sure if this is the best way to fight for the title.