After trading for Russell Westbrook on draft night 2021, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a jam regarding the former MVP. Sacrificing depth for star power proved to be a costly gamble, and now it seems unlikely they will be able to recoup any of their value.
From the moment the trade went through, many questioned how Russell Westbrook was going to fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. On top of being a ball-dominant point guard, he is a rather inefficient shooter from beyond the arc.
In the end, Russell Westbrook struggled greatly during his first season in LA. His 18.5 points per game was his lowest mark since his second year in the league back in 2010. The Lakers have tried to seek a trade, but there has been little to no market due to his massive contract. This upcoming season, Westbrook is owed just over $47 million.
On a recent episode of FS1's Undisputed, Skip Bayless weighed in on how the Lakers should address this problem next season. Despite the massive amount of money Russell Westbrook is owed, he thinks the team should just send him home indefinitely.
"If he can't shoot, and he can't hang on to the basketball, and you don't want him running the point, and he doesn't play defense, explain to me what you do want him to do?"
"I'm back to what I said from day one... The best way to utilize Russell Westbrook next year, if you cannot get rid of him, is just to send him home."
Should the Lakers considering sending Russell Westbrook home?
Sitting a player who makes a massive amount has been done before, but this a completely different situation. Unlike the Rockets last year with John Wall, the Lakers are looking to get back in the title hunt during the final years of LeBron's career.
Even though he is a questionable fit, if the Lakers can't find a trade, they will be handcuffed to playing Westbrook next season. Their supporting cast is not strong enough for them to just go without one of their All-Star caliber players on a nightly basis.
At the end of the day, Westbrook is still a point guard who can go out and do a little bit of everything. If the Lakers truly want to contend next season, they will need to find a way to make him impactful alongside LeBron and AD.
As a first-time head coach, Darvin Ham has his work cut out for him this season. Sending Westbrook home is certainly an option, but it would mean completely punting on this year in terms of being competitive in the Western Conference.