Over a week has passed since the 2021 NBA draft night, and yet the talks about the trades continue. We had a few discussions about the trades that caused the most public interest (the most significant being, of course, Russell Westbrook joining the Lakers). But what do the experts say? What do the players themselves say? We have collected the most exciting reactions over the past week in this article. Enjoy your reading!
So, Westbrook is now a Laker. And what does he say about it?
Russell Westbrook’s transfer to the Lakers is undoubtedly one of the main events of the draft night. And while the experts, journalists and fans write long posts questioning whether Russ will fit into the team, thinking up the options how it might or might not work, Westbrook himself didn’t say much about swapping teams. His post consisted of only four words:
“Home team. Why not?” – wrote Russ on his Twitter.
The Lakers agreed to acquire Russell Westbrook from Washington on draft night. Along with Westbrook, the Lakers will get second-round picks of 2024 and 2028.
LeBron’s reaction: posting a photoshopped photo of Davis and Westbrook in Lakers uniform
Lakers star forward LeBron James had also reacted to news of Westbrook’s acquisition by the Lakers. He seems to be excited or at least welcoming: James posted an edited photo of the Californian club’s new Big Trio on Instagram, featuring Anthony Davis and Westbrook in Lakers uniform.
Vladimir Gomelsky: “Westbrook on-ball is cutting off LeBron from the Lakers attack.
A commentator Vladimir Gomelsky shared what he expects from the joint performance of point guard Russell Westbrook and forward LeBron James for the Lakers.
“If Westbrook and LeBron will be on the court at the same time, it will significantly weaken the defence. If Westbrook is off-ball during the offence, he just stands at about 45 degrees and watches what is happening.
Russell’s three-pointer is unstable. If Westbrook is on-ball then it cuts LeBron off from the offensive scheme. The Lakers coach will have to put a lot of thought into how to combine the talents of these two players for the benefit of the team,” – Gomelsky said.
Previously Westbrook had played for Washington. In the last championship, the 32-year-old defender scored 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists with 4.8 turnovers per game, making 31.5% of three-pointers. Russell averaged 19 shots per game (43.9% from the floor).
The 36-year-old LeBron’s stats in the 20/21 NBA Championship – 25 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists (3.7 turnovers) with 36.5% of three-pointers. James had 18.3 shots per game, hitting the target 51.3% of the time.
Jalen Rose: Westbrook would keep the Lakers afloat if they have the same problems as in the last season
ESPN expert Jalen Rose said that all-star point guard Russell Westbrook would help the Lakers if the top players are out due to injury.
According to the expert, due to their age alone, the Lakers may have problems becoming first or second in the West.
Westbrook will keep the Lakers afloat if they run into problems like last season. As Rose said, we remember how Davis got injured and eliminated in the first round after that. That’s what Russ is for because he plays without any regard for age, even in the regular season.
Westbrook will be especially useful if the first and second stars – LeBron and AD will not be able to play. He can do his excellent triple-doubles and save the team. According to Rose, if both are out of the game, Russ might become the player of the week.
Richard Jefferson: “I love super-teams!”
Former player and now expert Richard Jefferson is one of the few experts who view Westbrook’s transfer positively. He stated that he loves when NBA stars come together in one team:
“I love super-teams! 80’s Celtics and Lakers, 90’s Bulls, Warriors 17-19 and now Lakers and Nets.
Let’s go, ”Jefferson tweeted.
“Getting popcorn ready”: Reggie Miller on the Lakers with LeBron, Davis, Westbrook and Carmelo
5-time NBA All-Star and Hall of Famer Reggie Miller discussed the building of a super team in the Lakers on social media.
Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore, Malik Monk and Kendrick Nunn have joined the stars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
This will be me all season watching Bron AD Brodie Melo and the Lakers,” Miller wrote, posting a GIF of Michael Jackson eating popcorn.
One of the followers on Twitter disagreed with Miller, saying that the current Lakers are lame and that the only motivation for star players is to pursue the championship ring. To which Reggie accused the fan of hypocrisy:
Perhaps, but you’re and many others are the same people who kill guys for being loyal and ringless, can’t have it both ways… Go get dat jewelry…”
Chris Broussard: “Russ is not this loser where there’s no way he can win. He won more than Nash. “
Columnist Chris Broussard says that Russell Westbrook should not be considered a “loser” destined not to win big.
But “The notion that Russ can’t win is overstated. He’s been to the NBA Finals. He’s played in 4 Conference Finals. He’s won more than Steve Nash, and Nash had great teams too. Russ is not this loser where there’s no way he can win,” – wrote Chris Broussard.
He is right, and maybe joining the purple and gold team is Westbrook’s step towards winning? Do you agree? Let us know in the comments.
Vladimir Gomelsky: Westbrook signing is a serious strengthening of the Lakers team
A commentator Vladimir Gomelsky also shared his opinion on the trade of forwards Kyle Kuzma, Kentavius Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell to the Wizards in exchange for the star player, Russell Westbrook.
According to Gomelsky, Westbrook increases the Lakers’ chances of winning the championship next year. He is also among those who think that Russell might fit into the team.
“A lot will depend on the team chemistry on the court. How will LeBron James take Westbrook’s desire to begin the attacks on-ball?
In any case, Westbrook’s signing is a significant boost for the team.
As for Kuzma’s leaving the club, Kyle is a very talented forward. I hope that in the new club, he will have the opportunity to express himself in all his glory, ” – Gomelsky said.
Other reactions include Kyle Kuzma’s responses on Twitter:
Kuzma reacted to Caruso leaving the Lakers for Chicago
Forward Kyle Kuzma has commented on defender Alex Caruso’s upcoming transfer from the Lakers to Chicago.
Caruso will sign a 4-year, $ 37 million contract with the Bulls.
“My brother Alex Caruso I’m so happy for u!!! Next week tee time is on you,” – Kuzma tweeted.
“Love, brotha. I got us! ” – answered Caruso.
Kuzma will also move to the East in the near future, the Lakers agreed to exchange the forward with Washington.
Kyle Kuzma: “Laugh now, cry later”
Forward Kyle Kuzma made it clear that he is going to take his game to the next level after leaving the Lakers.
The 26-year-old basketball player re-tweeted a message that many underestimate his career path to the Lakers and the sacrifices Kuzma made for the team.
“Don’t let casuals and meme boys tell you Kyle Kuzma’s not nice like that. He went from a key young piece with the Lakers core, putting up 19 and 5 a game, to sacrificing his entire role and rhythm to win a chip with greats. He’ll shine.”
Kuzma appreciated the complimentary opinion and responded with “Laugh now cry later”.
The 26-year-old Kuzma averaged 12.8 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Lakers last season, realizing 35.9% of his three-pointers. Kyle has a 13 million dollar contract, which is valid until 2024. It was reported that the Wizards could trade Kuzma again after the Lakers deal is finalized.
“Keep talking when it begins.” LeBron James addressed Lakers critics
Lakers star forward LeBron James addressed critics of the team on Twitter, but later deleted the message.
The Lakers made a significant roster update in the offseason. Russell Westbrook (32), Carmelo Anthony (37), Dwight Howard (35), and some others will be joining the team. James himself will turn 37 in December.
Many fans believe that the Lakers are too old and can get injured too easily to compete in the championship.
“Keep talking about my squad, our personnel ages, the way he plays, he stays injured, we’re past our time in this league, etc etc etc. Do me one favor PLEASE!!!! And I mean PLEASE!!! Keep that same narrative ENERGY when it begins! That’s all I ask. Thank you”, – wrote LeBron, before deleting the tweet.