In a point guard-dominated league, the Los Angeles Lakers need to be strong at the position if they want any hope of succeeding in the West. With Russell Westbrook, they have a guy who can do it all as a guard, but there are a lot of flaws to his game that need to be covered.
That is where veteran guard Patrick Beverley comes in, who was recently acquired in a deal with the Utah Jazz.
While the two have a pretty complicated history with each other, they have apparently already made peace since becoming teammates.
(via Marc Stein)
Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley have already been in contact since becoming Lakers teammates, league sources tell me, and new coach Darvin Ham has told them he has lineups in mind to play Russ and PatBev side-by-side.
On paper, Westbrook and Bev do not seem like the best basketball fit. Both players struggle to shoot from range, both players are alphas with an extreme emotional connection to the game, and both of them are entering the season with a lot to prove.
For Beverley, he brings all the things that the Lakers thought Westbrook would. He will be a key component in the locker room and on the court, serving as a leader and motivator to the rest of the squad.
Regarding Westbrook, his place in all of this is still up in the air. Darvin Ham and others within the franchise have only ever said good things about Westbrook, but there are those lingering reports that Rob Pelinka is still trying to trade him.
"The Lakers have already decided they want to trade Russ," wrote NBA Insider Andy Kamenetzky. "What’s in question is how much they’re willing to surrender in the process, and how much truly better they get. The Lakers don’t have enough assets to just bleed them for the sake of making a sideways deal."
At this point, it's impossible to say for sure how Beverley and Westbrook will work together. With a very similar playstyle, they have clashed before -- and have exchanged some unfriendly words on more than one occasion.
But with both of them locked in and committed to making things work, there's a chance that they could find some major success. At the end of the day, we will just have to wait and see.