Lakers fans revisit Hield trade after Westbrook’s tough debut originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
All it took was one game for Russell Westbrook to enrage Lakers fans after their 121-114 loss to the Warriors in Los Angeles.
Westbrook couldn’t have played much worse, making Lakers fans wish the front office would have instead acquired sharpshooter Buddy Hield from the Kings. Prior to the 2021 NBA Draft, it looked like Hield was destined for Hollywood, with Kyle Kuzma being shipped to Sacramento. Kuzma even believed it was a done deal.
Instead, the Lakers traded for Westbrook and three future second-round draft picks from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and the draft rights to Isaiah Jackson in August. If it were up to Lakers fans, at least right now, general manager Rob Pelinka should have bought Hield a one-way ticket to LA.
Westbrook went 4-for-13 from the field and missed all four of his 3-point attempts in the loss. He scored just eight points, and was a game-worst minus-23 in plus-minus. His eight points were the same amount as Lakers shooting guard Kent Bazemore and fewer than Warriors bench players like Nemanja Bjelica, Andre Iguodala and Damion Lee.
It’s clear how badly the Lakers needed better floor spacing and shooting, something that Westbrook lacks. Though Hield’s 3-point percentage last season was his lowest since his rookie season, he still made 39.1 percent of his attempts. Westbrook shot just 31.5 percent from deep for the Wizards, and is a 30.5 percent shooter from beyond the arc for his career.
If Westbrook continues to struggle, it will make the Lakers’ matchup with the Kings on Nov. 26 that much more interesting.