Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but an experiment where the Los Angeles Lakers brought in another dominant ball-handler to lighten the load for LeBron James on hasn’t gone well. The question this time around is whether, yet again, an all-time great point guard will be departing the organization sooner than previously expected.
With about three days to go before the NBA Trade Deadline, the Lakers will have some tough decisions to make, starting with whether their focus will be on adding to the current roster, or making one major subtraction from it. To try to figure that out, I welcomed Matt Moore of The Action Network on this week’s episode of “The Anthony Irwin Show.”
We started with a larger-picture view of the deals already done and how they’ve fallen short of expectations in what was seen widely as a seller’s market. Matt explained how the relatively empty war chests of various contenders has impacted offers across the league, and whether this trend might continue all the way through Thursday.
In other words, how likely is it that asking prices drop to a point where the Lakers’ top (read: only competitive) trade package of Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and their 2027 first round pick can actually net them a difference-maker?
From there, we jumped back into the Westbrook conversation, which is fascinating on a few levels: Will the LeBron James and the Lakers rethink their star-centric approach and start to consider fit more than they did last summer? Are they willing to admit failure at all? Has Anthony Davis’ resurgence made them more likely to fully pursue a championship this season?
All those questions helped us arrive at whether moving Westbrook might actually be a priority, because based on what we’ve seen this season, he just doesn’t seem like the kind of player who helps you win a championship so long as he plays in the role he currently expects and with the level of apathy he currently defends.
Matt also painted the picture from more of a league-wide perspective of what a team would need to do to convince themselves a Westbrook trade makes some sense for themselves.
We wrapped on some predictions he has for this Lakers trade deadline, and a few of his most embarrassing sports moments.
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.