Bryce James Called Russell Westbrook Trade An ‘L’ | He Should Thank His Pops LeBron Because The Lakers Got Better

The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to trade Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz and reacquire point guard D’Angelo Russell from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a three-team, eight-player trade. Bryce James, youngest son of Lakers’ superstar LeBron James, is not happy with the move and called it an “L” on his Instagram Story. But Bryce has his daddy to blame for that.

Bryce James Unhappy With Russell Westbrook Trade

It has been widely reported that LeBron pushed for the Lakers to trade for Russell Westbrook in the summer of 2021. The then-32-year-old Westbrook had two years and $91 million left on his deal. Westbrook had an OK year in Washington, but he was clearly on the decline. But LeBron thought joining forces with himself and Anthony Davis would resurrect the former MVP.

He was wrong.

To make matters worse, the Lakers gave up Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the deal. Key players in their title run the season prior.

LeBron Wanted Russell Westbrook Traded?

LeBron, as he is known to do, grew increasingly frustrated with Westbrook last season and it became an untenable this season.

Westbrook was OK for the Lakers this season. But at a salary of $47 million, he needs to produce like a top-five player in the league. He is not top-five in any positive metric. He’s ranked in the 66th percentile in EPM and is having his second-worst shooting season.

The Jazz will likely buy out the rest of Westbrook’s contract, and he’ll be a buyout minimum deal waiver guy for the rest of his career.

Westbrook’s time with the Lakers was an “L,” but that’s LeBron’s fault for pushing the team to trade for him in the first place.

The Lakers have retooled their roster in the wake of a very active NBA trade deadline. The acquisitions of D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Mo Bamba have the Lakers poised to go on a run, or so they hope.

These acquisitions bring more shooting to a team that ranks 26th in three-point field goal percentage and 27th in three-point field goal percentage on wide-open attempts, according to Second Spectrum.

Can Lakers Make A Playoff Push With New Pieces?

The Lakers are in 13th place in the Western Conference and two games back of the last play-in spot. They’re three games back of the last playoff spot. But six teams stand between the Lakers and the sixth seed.

The Jazz will likely bottom out to increase their lottery odds, but that still leaves five teams the Lakers have to jump. Not only do the Lakers have to play well, those five teams all have to play bad and lose games for the Lakers to gain ground. All of those teams have made upgrades to their rosters with a goal of pushing to make the playoffs as well.

The parity in the NBA this season has convinced more teams than ever that they have a shot at the playoffs and contending. That will make for an exciting end to the regular season and the play-in and playoff scenarios.

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