Russell Westbrook's fit with the Los Angeles Lakers was a huge point of concern over the course of last season. It was clear that his ball-dominant nature was not what the Los Angeles Lakers needed in their No. 3 option.
Recently, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired point guard Patrick Beverley from the Utah Jazz. Many have already noted the existing bad blood between him and Russell Westbrook. That would certainly make for an interesting dynamic on the roster if the two were to play together.
However, it seems as though the duo's chemistry might not end up being an issue after all. According to Los Angeles Lakers insider Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers moving for Patrick Beverley will make it more likely that the team ends up moving Russell Westbrook or sending him home and away from the team, similar to what the Houston Rockets did with John Wall last season.
One of the most interesting wrinkles with the deal is the notable history between Beverley and Westbrook. The two have had bad blood since Beverley dove into Westbrook’s knee while Westbrook was calling a timeout in the 2013 playoffs, injuring the then-Thunder star. There have been multiple barbs in press conferences and social media, and the two have had to be separated. The last time they faced each other, Beverley mocked Westbrook multiple times, holding his nose and yelling “he’s trash” at the Lakers’ bench.
Beverley’s arrival makes it more likely that Westbrook will be off the active roster by the start of training camp, either through a trade or the team sending him home a la the Rockets with John Wall last season, according to a source close to the situation.
There is no doubt that doing either of those things could be beneficial from the Los Angeles Lakers' perspective. They would be without Russell Westbrook regardless, and that would definitely give this upcoming season a feeling of a new start.
It would be interesting to see what the Los Angeles Lakers decide to do. Moving Russell Westbrook for pieces by attaching draft compensation to his contract would likely be the optimal scenario, and we'll see if the team is able to find a deal that works.