Los Angeles Lakers have had a dreadful start to their 2021-22 NBA campaign and might be looking to make some changes as soon as possible. Although their primary problem is defense, they are yet to find their rhythm offensively.
You could argue that they have not had LeBron James on the floor nearly as much as they would have hoped. While that is a valid take, the caliber of players on the roster should be enough to guarantee wins every other night.
It is getting critically close to hitting the panic button for the Lakers, as they are on a 9-10 run and currently sit 9th in the Western Conference standings. Although it will be easy to point figures to one man for their mishaps, it is more of a collective issue.
Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus has predicted that the Lakers will be one of the most active teams come trade deadline, but holds on to his conviction that a Russell Westbrook trade is unlikely.
"The Lakers made a massive trade over the summer, but the Russell Westbrook swap has not catapulted the team to the top of the Western Conference. The franchise may not be likely to change course, and moving Westbrook’s $44.2 million salary (plus a $47.1 million player option for 2022-23) would be extremely difficult in-season."
"Outside of John Wall with the Houston Rockets (on a similar contract to Westbrook) or Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers ($60.2 million owed through 2022-23), the opportunities may be nonexistent. It’s a stretch to suggest the Rockets or Cavaliers would consider Westbrook."
Westbrook has not reached the heights many hoped when he signed with the Lakers. It is still early to give a definitive report on his impact, but he is starting to pick things up.
The 2022 NBA trade deadline is scheduled to hold on February 10, 2022, before the All-Star break. There is still a lot of time for Westbrook and the Lakers to find their footing and be one of the dominant teams many envisaged they would be, coming into the season.