It seems more and more that the Lakers are getting comfortable (To use the word Dan Woike from the LA TimesAt least the idea of starting the season with him. After spending the summer Looking for a trade that moved Westbrook out of town (They haven’t stopped but a deal seems unlikely in the short term), the Lakers are preparing to move to a training camp with Westbrook in a key role. Latest reports along these lines It comes from Mark SteinWhoever informs Westbrook will attend LeBron James“Traditional little camp before the season.
The word is that there will likely be another small camp by the Lakers in the coming days and that Russell Westbrook will indeed be attending if they get together. Any sort of pre-camp rally involving LeBron and his fellow Violet and Gold Vets would mark a major step in the Lakers’ efforts to weather all the tensions that erupted during last season’s rocky 33-49 campaign, bringing James and Anthony Davis Together with his newly acquired Westbrook Patrick Beverly Before the Lakers report on their first practice under a new coach Darvin Hamm On September 26th.
And no, the Lakers will not do to Westbrook what the Rockets did John Wall last season and ask him to stay away from the team.
…Two well-placed sources have expressed to me a greater conviction that the Lakers are leaning strongly against the idea of sending Westbrook home like Houston’s John Wall last season in case they can’t find a deal for him. Sources maintain that Hamm is determined to create a real role for Westbrook if Laker remains.
Westbrook and his Lakers teammates are trying to heal any wounds from last season and beyond, including Westbrook and Patrick Beverley speaking recently (beef going back nearly a decade).
– Patrick Beverly (@patbev21) August 31, 2022
starting from New coach Darvin Hamm at his initial press conference to me Team Owner/Governor Jenny Boss Through the Beverley Tweet, everyone with the Lakers said the right things about bringing Westbrook back and finding a successful role for him. As always with all teams heading towards the start of the season, everyone is optimistic and promising to do whatever it takes to win.
However, saying all the right things and doing them can be two different things. Two big questions hanging over the Lakers and Westbrook this season:
First, Will Westbrook willingly accept the role? In the spare minutes, is he willing to be a corner decoy or run out of a dunker spot, so the fairway doesn’t crowd LeBron or Anthony Davis? Along the same lines, how well will Westbrod defend, and what happens the first time Hamm sits in the clutch to get Beverly and the better defenders on the field?
Second, what happens when adversity strikes? Anyone who says the right thing can quickly point fingers when losses pile up. The first six games of the Lakers included the defending champions, the Warriors, and the Clippers are finally healthy This is one of my favorite things to get out of the West, two matches against Nikola Jokic and finally the Health Nuggets, plus the improved Timberwolves. How would everyone in the locker room react if the Lakers got off to a slow start?
The Lakers will also have other questions to answer, including whether Westbrook will be on the team after the trading deadline – but if they don’t answer questions about the Westbrook merger through good times and bad, it will be another long season in Los Angeles.