The L.A. Lakers are laying all of it on the road to safe the NBA title subsequent season and their commerce for former MVP Russell Westbrook says that emphatically.
The Washington Wizards despatched nine-time All-Star Westbrook and two future second-round draft picks to the Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 decide on this yr’s draft, which they then dealt to the Indiana Pacers.
Russell Westbrook is now an L.A. Laker
Westbrook was born in Lengthy Seaside, California which is, in fact, within the Los Angeles space. A homecoming is good, however at 32, Westbrook has been traded to assist Lakers win proper now.
The purpose guard is a two-time scoring champion who received the 2016-17 NBA MVP award. He’s a three-time help chief and two-time All-Star MVP, however he’s by no means received an NBA title.
He turned the primary man ever to common a triple-double over the course of an NBA season in 2016-17, and he’s repeated that feat 3 times since.
The NBA now has two real superteams within the L.A. Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets.
Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and LeBron James have already had success on the U.S. Olympic staff
The Lakers have LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook. That’s two MVPs and 34 All Star appearances between the trio.
The Nets have Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant. All three of these males are of their prime whereas James is 36, however LeBron is well one of many best gamers to ever play the sport who solely received a championship two seasons in the past.
The Golden State Warriors will welcome again Klay Thompson this yr who will make a formidable backcourt with Steph Curry as soon as once more. In the event you consider Draymond Inexperienced and even Anthon Wiggins, you might argue Golden State is a superteam too.
The Brooklyn Nets have an insane roster with James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant
That’s the period of the NBA now. These groups are arguably extra stacked than the legendary Chicago Bulls that dominated the Nineteen Nineties with Michal Jordan on the forefront.
Let’s be sincere: Michael Jordan is Michael Jordan. Having Jordan in his prime on any staff was just about a brilliant staff. Nonetheless, his predominant lieutenant was Scottie Pippen and in later years, Dennis Rodman helped in that regard, too. That was the tremendous staff trio Chicago had.
How does that stack up at the moment? Jordan was the motive force. Rodman performed his function as rim protector, screen-setter and rebounder to perfection whereas Pippen was the most effective two-way gamers in NBA historical past, solely under-celebrated as a result of he was working subsequent to the GOAT himself, Michael Jordan.
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Michael Jordan’s Huge 3 featured Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman
The Lakers have put collectively a formidable trio, however they’ve a number of work to construct round them. The Purple and Yellow had the twenty first finest three-point proportion within the league final season they usually want shooters.
Westbrook is 30.5 p.c from three in his profession and isn’t the reply, however he’s a heavy affect on the sport in lots of different methods and takes a load off James, particularly.
If they’ll put some three-and-D swingmen round them, the Lakers appear like an incredible wager to win the title, but it surely’s a giant if. Westbrook didn’t gel terribly effectively with the additionally ball-dominant James Harden in Houston, so it’s laborious to say how working with LeBron will look.
Conversely, Brooklyn had the second-best three-point proportion within the league final yr and located a method to run an offence that features Harden, Irving and Durant. The one disadvantage was they couldn’t do it extra due to accidents.
Anthony Davis and LeBron James helped L.A. to the title in 2020, however the panorama has modified
Accidents are additionally what ended up bogging the Lakers down within the playoffs. However now with their celebrity trio and one other former All Star in Andre Drummond at middle, they’ve obtained the core of a critical staff.
The factor with superteams are, the headline acts are solely a part of the puzzle. It’s the way you construct the remainder of the roster that carries you over the road and one may argue that’s what the Bulls did finest across the best centrepiece possible.
Take the 2015-16 Warriors for instance. They went a document 73-9 – which broke the Bulls’ 1995-96 document of 72-10 – with the core of Curry, Thompson and Inexperienced. However, round them, that they had skills like Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, Shaun Livingston, Festus Ezeli, Mareese Speights and Andrew Bogut they usually all continued in varied methods.
They needed to sacrifice numerous these skills in an effort to afford Durant to hitch them the very subsequent season, and their document was barely worse at 67-15. However, they did win the title with Durant, whereas the season prior they collapsed a 3-1 lead within the Finals to – watch for it – LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.