Kendrick Perkins was pretty bullish on the Lakers’ big 3 of Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But he’s now past that stage.
The Lakers’ complete meltdown over the 2021-22 NBA season has been the talk all around ESPN. While the Warriors took the league by surprise by punching above their weight, the LA powerhouse managed to achieve the exact opposite.
In their quest to pair LeBron with the proper star power, they let some of the team’s steel go. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso may not be fantasy NBA gods today, but they were far bigger contributors than what their box score stats suggest.
Getting rid of them for a clueless Russell Westbrook has been a recipe for team defense disaster. Opponents manage to find the Brody’s man on back-cuts with alarming regularity, nearly 40% into the season.
The Lakers are now 16-18 on the year and holding onto their play-in berth for dear life. Their only consolation from the season thus far is that they haven’t pitted their best lineup yet. But there seems to be a clear ceiling for this roster, and that’s a 2nd round exit.
Something’s got to give for Lakers Nation to have any chance at all during the playoffs this year. Their defensive woes and hot-and-cold offense both need fixing, and need fixing soon.
Kendrick Perkins says Russell Westbrook – not Anthony Davis – needs to be traded by Lakers GM Rob Pelinka
Kendrick Perkins knows a thing or two about making deep playoff runs. His brand of defensive steel is among the big necessities that the Lakers have this season. While Big Perk was hardly the most talented player, he knew his role and played within it.
That’s what the Lakers need at this current moment – role players who make the stars’ jobs easier. More star power has clearly not helped them thus far, and probably won’t in the future as well. Perk recognized the same recently.
“It’s not looking good. A move has to be made. I don’t think it’s Anthony Davis, I think it’s Russell Westbrook. I think they got to move on from him.”
– Kendrick Perkins on the Lakers pic.twitter.com/RmuO2dS9Vk
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) December 27, 2021
Russell Westbrook has been, above all, a consummate professional wherever he’s gone. His playoff failures will not define his career, as much as haters would like this to be the case. A trade from the Lakers isn’t necessarily against his interests, however.