When the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook (and especially after they let Alex Caruso walk), one very valid concern was the lack of flexibility they would have to improve the roster should they not play up to expectations. Barely 30 games into the season and it would appear Rob Pelinka, LeBron James and everyone else responsible for a disappointing offseason are facing that exact situation.
In case you missed it on Tuesday, the Lakers are reportedly having internal conversations to do with Westbrook, who in all honesty has been mostly what we expected he would be. So, to discuss those rumors, LeBron James’ various statements, and the rest of this weird Lakers season thus far, I welcomed Jorge Sedano of ESPN on this week’s “Anthony Irwin Show.”
Sedano has paid about as close attention to James’ career as almost anyone in media and, as I like to joke, speaks LeBron. When James was non-comital about Frank Vogel, distanced himself from the decision-makers in the Lakers organization and then recently tweeted about Talen Horton-Tucker (who just so happens to also be involved in several trade rumors), there was no one else I wanted to speak to.
Speaking of Horton-Tucker (who can’t be traded until Jan. 15, by the way), Jorge and I spent some time figuring out whether he might finish this season with the Lakers. We just don’t see it. He’s certainly an interesting player with a very bright future ahead of him, but the Lakers’ needs on the wing are too dire and their timelines are too far apart to see him lasting beyond February’s trade deadline.
We also discussed the job Frank Vogel has done, whether he’ll be the first change to be made to the organization, and whether the league might shut down again because of this recent rash of COVID positive tests.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.