Russell Westbrook is now a Laker at LeBron James’ behest, but Zach Lowe isn’t quite impressed by Rob Pelinka’s work as their GM.
The Lakers will be aiming to raise their 18th championship banner in the upcoming years. They emulated the Boston Celtics with their 17th in 2020, and LeBron James is far from satisfied.
Leaving a lasting legacy with the sport’s most storied franchise requires a little more than just one championship run. LeBron realizes this, which is why he was on overdrive trying to recruit some of the world’s best basketball players.
LA native DeMar DeRozan and Oakland native Damian Lillard were supposed to be 2 of the Lakers’ top targets. But they’ve settled on Russell Westbrook, who’s a former MVP but fits questionably into the Lakers’ roster as constructed.
Many insiders across the league were expecting Rob Pelinka to go into the offseason a bit more cautiously. There was a ton of talk linking the team to 3-point shooters like Buddy Hield, Bradley Beal and even Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Zach Lowe doesn’t think the Lakers have put LeBron James in great position to win championships
“So at the risk of making Mr. Measles Moody Mahdy mad at me up there, I don’t love this for the Lakers. I’m looking at an alternative where I could have Dennis Schroder re-sign, Buddy Hield, keep KCP, maybe keep my pick.”
“I’m probably doing that instead of Russ because it helps my depth and the shooting problems are gonna be real. Now look, the fact is, we can talk about shooting and spacing and who’s gonna take the last shot and all this.”
“These guys are 3 great players in terms of talent and smarts and just all-out ferocity. These can make up for sometimes not-so-great spacing and the West does not have an overwhelming favorite anymore.”
“If LeBron is the best shooter on the floor, you haven’t done a good enough job building around LeBron.”@ZachLowe_NBA thinks the Lakers were better off going with the Buddy Hield/Kings trade package than acquiring Russ 👀 pic.twitter.com/MWitjm7a78
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 30, 2021
“Here’s one of the great axioms of LeBron’s career. If LeBron is the best shooter on the floor, you haven’t done a good enough job of building around LeBron. Now they’re going to probably bring back some of their own free agents, but the shooting is going to be a big problem.”