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What do the Lakers need to learn after trading for Russell Westbrook failed so spectacularly?

Trading for Russell Westbrook clearly hasn’t worked, and the Lakers are going to move on this offseason. But whether they’ve learned from their mistakes is still very much an open question

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New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Tyler Ross/NBAE via Getty Images

In less than a week, this Lakers season will finally, mercifully end. Yes, there’s still a painfully slim chance they make the play-in to extend the 2021-22 campaign, but in all likelihood, any wins they tally between now and Sunday are far more likely to be yet another fake comeback in a season defined by that trend.

So this week on “The Anthony Irwin Show,” I welcomed back Jovan Buha of The Athletic to revisit a conversation we had back in September previewing how we thought this season would play out through the lens of the Russell Westbrook trade.

To quickly summarize, we both thought there was a way this might have worked, but if it didn’t, the Lakers would have basically no flexibility to improve the situation. Sure, it’s impossible now to see how it might’ve worked beyond just hoping for a less-injury-riddled season, but that last point on having no flexibility to fix this is the key one.

This summer, the Lakers are going to have their work cut out for them, as they’ll have to move Westbrook, replenish a wing rotation that is basically LeBron James and Stanley Johnson right now, find shooting to surround Anthony Davis and James, make a decision on Talen Horton-Tucker, and all kinds of other smaller tasks in other to regain legitimate title contention.

The only way anyone can be confident they’ll do any of that is to figure out whether they know what went wrong this season. Unfortunately, neither Jovan or I think they’ve learned those necessary lessons, but we’ll see.

Jovan and I discussed all that, plus what he thinks the Lakers need to do this summer, and Magic Johnson’s most recent media tour.

You can listen to the full episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

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.

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