The Los Angeles Lakers made one of the boldest and most controversial moves of the NBA offseason, trading Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, and Montrezl Harrell to the Washington Wizards for Russell Westbrook.
The preseason was the first sign of alert for the Lakers. The team barely played together and Westbrook was even more erratic than he usually is. Then, the regular season came and things haven't changed that much.
There are serious concerns regarding Westbrook's fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. And, according to an unnamed scout, the only way to solve their issues is by sending him to the second unit.
NBA Scout Says The Lakers Need To Bench Westbrook
“To me, he’s best with the second unit, having the ball in his hands and pushing the pace,” one scout told Sam Amick of The Athletic, as quoted by ClutchPoints. “With (James), (Westbrook) will rebound and push it, but many times, no one runs with him… certainly not (James) or (Davis). He is a poor defender on a team FULL of poor defenders. Not a great fit there either. It is just a matter of time before the (Westbrook) volcano erupts. He is so passionate and being an LA kid, wants so badly to succeed … I just don’t see it as a great fit. (James) and (Davis) are NOT changing the way they play, nor can they. I predict a 5-7 seed and first round exit in the playoffs.”
Shaq Says Westbrook Needs To Change His Game
That's similar to what Shaquille O'Neal had to say about him a couple of days ago. According to the Hall of Famer, Westbrook needs to find ways to make an impact without being so ball-dominant:
"He is going to have to figure out ways to make an impact without being on the ball all the time," the Big Diesel said. "His whole career, he has been either number one or number two, now he is number three or four. I agree with Chuck, he has to push the pace. When they miss, he should be the first one on the court trying to get layups. When he gets the ball, he should be aggressive."
“The only reason why he had 33 points is 'cause he took 27 shots. Now when LeBron has the ball all the time and throwing it to AD, he is not going to be able to get 27 shots. So again, he is going to have to find a way to make an impact on the game without having the ball all the time," he added.
It's still way too early in the season and we're talking about one of the greatest players of his generation, so chances are that he'll figure things out. If not, whether he'll be able to embrace a different role is yet to be seen.