With the Detroit Pistons and other training camps approaching its start, reality is settling in for NBA teams. What looked like problems that could be solved in the offseason, are now staring them in the face. One of those teams is the Los Angeles Lakers with Russell Westbrook.
After hoping some team would take Russell Westbrook off their hands, while pretending to the public there is no problem, the Lakers now face the prospect of Westbrook coming to camp, even though they have brought in two players (Patrick Beverley, Dennis Schroeder) that play his position.
The solution, at least to the public, is ‘Russ’ can come off the bench. Why is a former two-time MVP who is being paid $47 million for this season, now a sub behind two journeyman? That is certainly something Westbrook would want to know.
To solve the issue, an unnamed Eastern Conference executive proposed this trade of Westbrook to the Detroit Pistons recently to Heavy’s Sean Deveney.
The Lakers remove what will be a major headache, and the Pistons net a first-round pick for the price of a bunch of players that were not part of their future anyhow. Detroit also solves its over-the-limit roster problem.
Yes, Detroit might not be very good this season, playing with a Kiddie Korps plus Westbrook, but than simply means a better chance at Victor Wembenyama in the draft.
If the Pistons end up with the 7-foot-4 Frenchman, when six other teams have lit their rosters on fire for a chance at him, that would be Detroit truly getting the last laugh, after so many draft lottery failures.
Of course, as is, the Boston Celtics are not exactly cowering in fear of the Pistons. The odds for Detroit’s win/loss total is 27.5 according to the betting parlors. Not like you’re breaking up the 2017 Warriors.
If the Lakers throw in a protected 2029 first-rounder (like 1-15 protected), that could make Pistons general manager Troy Weaver pull the trigger.
So, the question must be asked. If this trade actually went through, and Westbrook would not get bought out, how would the nine-time All-Star play with the Pistons’ budding star, Cade Cunningham.
If they can work well together, there really is no reason for the Pistons not to do the trade.
5 reasons Russell Westbrook could be a good fit with Cade Cunningham
5. A great mentor for Cade
Westbrook, even his most vociferous detractors will admit, is a hard worker.
His work ethic would hopefully rub off on Cade Cunningham. When you see your backcourt mate giving his all, it is tough not to do the same.
Westbrook has seen just about everything in the NBA. He is been to the NBA finals, been on teams that were not so hot (like last year’s Lakers). He could really teach Cunningham about how the league works, and how to conduct himself.
While he can be a bit of a jerk on the court, Westbrook has been nothing but an upstanding family man and citizen off of it. Cunningham could do worse as an (off the court) role model.