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“Apologies, couldn't be helped” — Brian Windhorst flames the Los Angeles Lakers roster moves in a sentence

The Lakers could've had everything they are missing right now - shooting and defensive versatility - for less than what they are paying Russell Westbrook.
Los Angeles Lakers guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, and Russell Westbrook

Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Russell Westbrook

The Los Angeles Lakers won the title in 2020. But for some fans, it seems like ages ago because of the struggles the franchise has been enduring for the past two years. Adding insult to injury, ESPN analyst Brian Windhorst reminded readers in his recent article about the Lakers that three members of that Lakers team combine to make significantly less than Russell Westbrook's salary this season.

"But first, a quick aside: Did you know 2020 Laker champs Alex Caruso ($9 million), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($14 million), and Kyle Kuzma ($13 million) combine to earn $36 million this season and the Lakers could have all of them plus P.J. Tucker ($10.5 million) for less than Westbrook ($47 million) earns this season?" wrote Windhorst. "Apologies, couldn't be helped, let's move on."

Looking back at that fateful trade

The results of L.A.'s trade for Westbrook back in the 2021 offseason have been as bad as they can get. Unfortunately, the organization had to give up three rotation players to consummate the deal with the Washington Wizards.

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There are some who could not fault the front office for taking a huge risk then. After all, a Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Westbrook seemed to ooze with potential, considering that they had combined for a total of 34 All-Star selections. The trio's first game together in the 2021 preseason showed glimpses of what they could become.

Unfortunately, chemistry and injury issues have hounded the team, resulting in an 11th-place finish in the West last season and a concerning 0-3 start in this campaign.

The dry market for Westbrook

The Lakers could be trying to save the season by putting Westbrook on the trade block. However, it seems that the market is dry for the former MVP. No team apparently wants him or his expiring contract that much, especially when he has not done much to dispel the idea that he is a bad teammate.

In hindsight, Los Angeles likely lost the Westbrook trade. Perhaps, getting rid of him can help the franchise recoup some of its losses. But at what price?

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