Coming into the 2021 offseason, we all knew the Lakers were going to make a splash. And, on draft night earlier this week, they finally did it by trading for 9x All-Star, Russell Westbrook.
As most of Lakers Nation was rejoicing the move, beat writer Jovan Buha slammed the move, questioning Wetsbrook's fit on a team that desperately needs shooters.
Here's what he said in his article on The Athletic:
Aside from getting healthy, the Lakers’ biggest offseason need was improved 3-point shooting at multiple positions. Phoenix’s defensive strategy in the first round was essentially to pack the paint against James and Davis and ignore Los Angeles’ non-shooters. It was effective, to some extent (even more so once Davis went down, of course). Instead of addressing that need via trade, the Lakers opted for not only the worst perimeter-shooting star in the league, but arguably the worst high-volume 3-point shooter in NBA history.
Even if the Lakers can somehow manage to find supplementary shooting in free agency, Westbrook’s lack of gravity is going to cramp the floor, especially in instances in which he’s playing next to a paint-bound big. He’s a downgrade from even Dennis Schröder in that regard, which is saying something. Additionally, Westbrook has severely declined as a free-throw shooter, making just 65.6 percent of his free throws in two of the past three seasons.
It's easy to dismiss the piece as ramblings from a "hater," but it does certainly raise some interesting questions.
Since Westbrook is a notoriously bad shooter, who will step up for the Lakers as a perimeter shot-maker?
WIthout Kuzma and KCP (arguably the best shooters on the team), L.A. will have to work hard to find perimeter threats via trade and free agency.
If not, it could lead to some serious problems, akin to some of the same issues they had this past season.
Whatever the case, some people have their doubts about Westbrook's arrival, even some of those within the organization itself.
It will be up to Westbrook and the squad to prove all the doubters wrong.