“When the Lakers did that, the opposing teams did not understand anything”


The Lakers’ season looks like a long way of the cross, far from the hopes of titles displayed during the fall. However, the competition was quickly skeptical of the Angelinos’ chances of success… Indeed, a move from the offseason surprised absolutely everyone.

When you see how the Lakers have bustled free agency last summer, you wonder how the franchise could have fallen so low in 2021-22. Tenth in the West with only 31 wins for 43 losses, Frank Vogel’s men are barely groping and are considered the laughingstock of the league. Recruits have been singled out regularly for weeks, starting with a Russell Westbrook in perdition.

It hurts all the more as the former Wizards was the flagship move of the Purples and Golds, who dropped a lot of players to bring him from the capital. However, as explained The Athletic, targeting the 2017 MVP had raised quite a few eyebrows across the league. Indeed, many were unconvinced by the gain to be gained from such a trade, even after last year’s disappointment and first-round elimination against the Suns. Above all, this involved several big drawbacks:

The trade for Russell Westbrook misunderstood by the competition

With $76.5 million already invested in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers traded Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and a first-round pick to acquire one of the most expensive players in the NBA…. At the time of the transaction, many competition executives were puzzled. If the Lakers’ top-notch talent hasn’t turned the league upside down, the team has given up significant depth and flexibility for a risky « maybe. »

Note that before the arrival of the Brodie, it was Buddy Hield who was to land from the Kings. Except that the King, friend with WestBeast, would have imposed his veto on this move. We will never know if it was for the best or not, but it is clear that the signing of the number 0 is not a success. However, The Athletic recalls that this is not the only dumpling committed by the angelino front office. This one would have wrongly decided to put aside the winning formula of the Orlando bubble, thus putting sticks to the tactician in place:

Throughout the 2019-20 season, they established a champion identity based on size and utterly impenetrable circle protection. The Lakers had long-armed players who were tall and formed a top-3 defense in the league.

Instead, in 2020-21 Frank Vogel, renowned for his defensive spirit, was handed a roster that didn’t fit his style. The Lakers handed him an older, slower team with shooters who struggled to defend, defenders who struggled to shoot, and a point guard who didn’t defend and shoot.

From the start, most franchises were therefore wary of the potential for a Lakers Big Three with Russell Westbrook. however, that wasn’t the only casting mistake the Pourpres er Ors had and they paid dearly for it.

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