Russell Westbrook's arrival in Los Angeles was massively hyped up ahead of the season. As a multiple-time All-Star and former MVP, Westbrook is certainly a guy that is capable of making a hugely positive difference for his team -- at least, on paper.
In reality, the situation is much more complicated.
Between his flaws on both ends of the floor, and the need for the ball to be in his hands, Russ isn't the type of guy that will fit anywhere. And, in Los Angeles, the lakers are finding that out for themselves.
Through five games so far, L.A. is just 2-3, with one of those losses being the result of blowing a 26 point lead.
In a chat with NBA Insider Sam Amick, one league scout compared Russ to a volcano ready to blow at any minute:
“To me, he’s best with the second unit, having the ball in his hands and pushing the pace,” the scout said, per The Athletic. “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.”
Those are certainly harsh words, especially coming this early in the season, but it's an opinion that is shared by many in the community.
Right now, Russ does not look like a proper fit in this Lakers lineup, and people are wondering if the team made a mistake by trading for him.
The only way to stop the noise, and silence the doubters, is for Westbrook to play like a star and help lead the Lakers back to the top place in the West.