The Los Angeles Lakers may get one of the biggest breaks in NBA history if they can trade Russell Westbrook for Kyrie Irving and put together another team that can contend for a title. Everyone knows that the Lakers aren't very competitive with Russ, so the possible move to bring someone like Kyrie to play alongside LeBron James is very enticing.
The Lakers are widely expected to land Irving but recent reports suggest that Irving may finish out his contract with Brooklyn and sign with LA next season as a free agent. This means Westbrook will most likely play out the final year of his contract in LA.
New Lakers coach Darvin Ham has stressed the importance of changing Russ's playing style and making him commit to defense this season. NBA Inside Zach Lowe doesn't see it working out for the Lakers and Westbrook, calling the James-Westbrook duo 'a lost cause'.
"I think it's a lost cause. Darvin Ham can say all these things in the media about how 'we are optimistic about the fit' and that they'll direct Russ's game into a direction for this team, which is code for 'he's gotta go all-in on defense'. He has to cut, he has to set screens for LeBron James. This is all the stuff we've been asking Russell Westbrook to do for 15 years, he never does it."
Lowe is right about Russ showing he doesn't want to change his game over the years. People have been suggesting that he needs to commit on defense and improve his shot since he was with the Thunder. He never did so and has never cared to do so.
Westbrook's stubbornness has made his Lakers stint be absolute hell as he hasn't been able to change his game for LeBron like most star teammates around him do. Maybe the bad fit comes from Russ's unwillingness to sacrifice and change his playing style than what his actual skills reflect in 2022.