The Los Angeles Lakers were perhaps the biggest winners of the NBA’s trade deadline.
They managed to get rid of Russell Westbrook while still holding on to one of their first-round picks, addressing all the needs in their roster by adding more shooting, defensive versatility, and playmaking around their stars.
It might take some time before this team taps in on its potential, and that’s a luxury they might not be able to afford right now.
The early returns, however, have been encouraging, even despite suffering a tough loss without LeBron James.
So, now that The King has had the chance to play with and watch his new teammates up close, he opened up about how they can play and thrive together going forward:
“I think we’re going to continue to build off tonight, and I think our skill set all kind of fit each other,” James said. “With Vando [Jarred Vanderbilt] and D-Lo D’Angelo Russell] and Beas [Malik Beasley], three guys that just know how to play the game. We all just tried to get the ball popping, get the ball moving, have equal opportunity and everybody is just trying to play to their advantage out on the floor.”
.@KingJames addresses the media about his foot injury and shares his thoughts on the new team and the players that were traded. pic.twitter.com/Du468eX4O8
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) February 16, 2023
Russell Westbrook was never a good fit alongside James and Anthony Davis; that’s just a fact.
Flipping him and getting three solid role players who actually play the way their stars need is a huge win for the purple and gold, especially considering how wide-open the Western Conference is right now.
Even if the Lakers aren’t a playoff team right now, they just need a good stretch to turn things around and make at least the play-in tournament.
Darvin Ham’s team hasn’t been as consistent as their fans would want, and Davis’ health concerns will always be at the back of their minds.
But all it takes to win an NBA championship is 16 wins at the end of the season, and this is the last team you’d want to meet in a seven-game series after they’ve already figured out how to play together.NEXT: NBA Analyst Raises The Alarm About Anthony Davis