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NBA analyst has a bold prediction for Los Angeles Lakers if they trade Russell Westbrook

NBA analyst Nick Wright believes that Russell Westbrook is the one holding back the Los Angeles Lakers
NBA analyst has a bold prediction for Los Angeles Lakers

Russell Westbrook

Famed NBA analyst Nick Wright has a surprising prediction for the Los Angeles Lakers, believing they can reach the Western Conference Finals - as long as they trade Russell Westbrook away.

The Westbrook conundrum

Wright is known for his tenacious defense of Lakers star LeBron James. So, it is no wonder that he still believes that L.A. can make it far in the playoffs despite other pundits counting the team out.

Of course, there is also the theory that getting rid of Westbrook will benefit the Lakers.

The former MVP has put up solid numbers in the Purple and Gold. In the 2021-22 campaign, he recorded 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game but kept making bad plays after bad plays throughout the season.

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In addition, Westbrook doesn't seem like a great fit with the current Lakers roster chemistry-wise.

For these reasons, fans have been calling for the organization to move the enigmatic point guard to another team.

What are the options?

Unfortunately for the Lakers, the market for a Westbrook trade doesn't seem robust. As a matter of fact, the franchise might have to attach a future first-round pick or two to incentivize a team to take on the 33-year-old. Doing so would limit L.A.'s flexibility in building its roster in the following years.

But given that Westbrook has an expiring contract, some organizations looking to generate cap space in the following offseason could give the Lakers front office a call later this season to inquire about a possible deal.

Another possibility is that the coaching staff, led by rookie head coach Darvin Ham, finds an effective way to utilize Westbrook.

Either way, the Lakers might need to practice patience, even if some fans have already lost theirs due to the team's lack of success.

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