The Downfall of the Los Angeles Lakers?

Ian Gonzalez, Staff Member

In this year’s offseason the Los Angeles Lakers made a blockbuster trade to acquire the nine time All-NBA player Russell Westbrook. This trade would send Kyle Kuzma, Motrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the 22nd overall pick. This trade made the Lakers one of the prohibited favorites to win this year’s NBA Finals. With the first 15 games completed, the Lakers sit at 8-7 and 7th in their conference, while the Washington Wizards sit atop of their conference with a 10-5 record.

What is the cause of this underwhelming start of the season? Did they make a mistake in trading for Westbrook?

This year’s Lakers have been far from a championship-ready team this year. With experience in watching the NBA, Senior Logan Garcia knows what he is talking about.

“The main reason the Lakers are struggling is that Russell Westbrook can’t shoot. He doesn’t help create space for the team to operate well,” Garcia said. “Russell is a poison to the team because of his playstyle clogging the paint for his team making it harder to get easy buckets.”

With Garcia having experience in playing basketball, he knows the first hand struggles of playing with a bad shooter. “I honestly think that the Wizards won the trade. They were able to get rid of Westbrook’s contract in return for young players,” he said.

With the disappointing record, some are still not convinced that the record represents the team so far.

Senior Aidan Prescott said, “I can’t say the Lakers are not a championship team because they still have Lebron. Wherever Lebron is, there is a good chance they will make it to the Finals. I have been a Lebron fan since he was little and has been following his career ever since. But right now I can’t say that it is guaranteed because it is too early into the season and a lot can happen between now and the playoffs.”

Since Lebron has been gone, it has affected the team in their overall scoring. He contributes so much whether it is him making a bucket or creating buckets for his teammates.

With the trade, the Lakers traded a lot of their younger talent and future with a mindset of winning now.

“I think the future of the Lakers is going to be rocky. They have traded most of their draft picks and young emerging stars in return for proven veterans. I’m pretty sure that more than half of their team is over 30,” said Senior Maddison Zaro.

Zaro is always tuned in to what is going on in the NBA world; she knows a lot when it comes to teams making moves to create a championship team.

All in all, this trade shows that the Lakers value more in proven veterans when creating a championship team.