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NBA analyst Ryan Blackburn blasts the Los Angeles Lakers - “Somehow, they’re going to get out of the Russell Westbrook contract"

Blackburn has a very solid point, and if the Lakers can pull it off, they would instantly become title contenders again.
Ryan Blackburn on the Los Angeles Lakers - “Somehow, they’re going to get out of the Russell Westbrook contract for an All-Star talent”

Blackburn can’t believe that, despite all the obstacles that existed for the Lakers coming into the season, they are about to once again make themselves championship contenders

The Los Angeles Lakers came into the offseason knowing they had some work to do. The LeBron James/Anthony Davis/Russell Westbrook trio did not produce the expected results, and their bench needed to be overhauled and infused with more talent that fit James and Davis’ playstyle. But fixing their roster this offseason will be easier said than done.

The main reason for that is that the Lakers are looking to get rid of Westbrook and his massive contract, but nobody wants to take it onto their books. Westbrook posted arguably the worst season of his career last year and is due to make over $47 million this season. But with Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets looking to force his way onto the Lakers, they appear to be on the verge of somehow fixing their mess this offseason.

Blackburn cannot believe that the Lakers are about to get out of Westbrook’s contract

The Lakers’ ability to somehow escape potentially franchise-destroying situations has caught much of the league’s attention, and they are close to accomplishing it yet again. After an initial stalemate between the Lakers and Nets to open the offseason, reports have come out saying that the two sides are actively working towards a trade that would send Irving to L.A. Any deal that sends Irving out west would involve Westbrook going the other way to Brooklyn.

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This has particularly incensed Ryan Blackburn, who is an analyst for the Denver Nuggets. Blackburn can’t believe that, despite all the obstacles that existed for the Lakers coming into the season, they are about to once again make themselves championship contenders by swinging a deal for Irving.

“The Lakers traded all of their picks, vomited on themselves publicly and repeatedly all of last season, and now, somehow, they’re going to get out of the Russell Westbrook contract for All-Star talent that’s an infinitely better fit, albeit psychotic.” - Ryan Blackburn.

Would Irving make the Lakers instant title contenders?

The difference between Irving and Westbrook right now cannot be overstated. Westbrook appears to be declining, while Irving, who admittedly only played a small portion of the past season, is still playing some of his best basketball. To be able to pick up a top-tier player while dumping a total hindrance, both on and off the court, to winning in Westbrook is huge.

Irving is admittedly a bit of a wildcard himself, but he would be joining the only teammate with whom he’s won a title with in James. These two teamed up with the Cleveland Cavaliers to lead them to a championship in 2016. It’s also worth mentioning they didn’t have a player of Davis’ talent on their roster as well. That trio would undoubtedly be more effective with Irving on board rather than Westbrook.

Despite the Lakers throwing away all their draft picks and cap space in the past few years, they could be handed a lifeline by Irving and the Nets if a trade ends up going through. Nothing is official yet, but it appears to be trending towards Kyrie becoming a Laker. And if that happens, Los Angeles may be a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.

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