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Freeman Cebu Sports

The Westbrook rumors

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus - The Freeman

What you will be reading today are mere rumors so it will all be about half-truths and half-lies gathered from various sources.  Well, it’s always possible that words floating around the net will become reality but let’s not get our hopes up because just like the campaign promises of most candidates, it’s more on fiction and fairy tale.

Expectations were high for the LA Lakers when the season started but as the dusts of battle settled, they were a big flop.  Major overhauls are on the way and the first to get the pink slip was coach Frank Vogel, who unfairly knew of his firing prior to his being officially fired.

The Lakers will build around LeBron James and Anthony Davis because they can’t be moved. They must surround them with younger legs, not necessarily superstars, who can significantly contribute when needed. The experiment with ancient veterans did not work and management would be stupid to do it again.

And now to our main story. It was reported that Russell Westbrook wants out of the Lakers and the feeling is mutual with the team, whose fanbase also clamor for Westbrook’s departure. The problem is the $47 million he is owed next season and GM Rob Pelinka just could not LBC or JRS the issue and close a deal.

Out in the East, it was disclosed that former Laker Julius Randle is unhappy with the Knicks. Of late, he had become unpopular with the NYK fans, which are very animated in showing their pleasure and displeasure. Their attention, or perhaps affection, had now gone to RJ Barrett and OB Toppin, which could have made Randle jealous.

Dejected high-profile players almost always get their wishes to switch teams no matter the problems. Swapping them allows both parties to get ahead from the distraction and hope for better days ahead.

Granting that this pushes thru, an LBJ-Davis-Randle trio won’t work in my opinion.  Like LBJ, Randle is ball dominant and his natural position at the 4 will not compliment Davis, unless he would be willing to come in as a substitute, which is unlikely. The Knicks by the way have that curious habit of absorbing or offering huge deals.

There’s also the proposed Westbrook for Malcolm Brogdon and Buddy Heild trade. Indiana likes to move on from both guards as they have a younger backcourt pair in Tyrese Haliburton and Chris Duarte. Westbrook can provide the veteran presence for the young guards. Likewise, LA will have a rotation upgrade on their backcourt.

Charlotte reportedly had shown interest and have two large contracts (Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier) that they would like to overhaul. The Lakers of late had been specific that they don’t want anything to do with a player with a history of injuries. This drops Hayward from the equation as he had missed several games this season. Rozier had missed only 19 games the past five seasons and the Lakers would prefer him over Hayward as the centerpiece of a trade package

It’s a long off season for the Lakers finding a deal that would make sense with an expensive flickering star not exactly longed for around the league. Come to think of it. Deals they did the past two seasons made no sense.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK

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