Westbrook, Beverley reportedly talked since becoming Laker teammates
Don’t expect everyone to be BFFs and dancing around like it’s a Kendrick Lamar concert, but when it comes to the chemistry questions surrounding the Lakers roster, expect a detente by the time training camp starts in late September.
One example of that: Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley — who have a beef going back to 2013 — have spoken since becoming Lakers teammates, reports Marc Stein.
Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley have already been in contact since becoming Lakers teammates, league sources tell me, and new coach Darvin Ham has told them he has lineups in mind to play Russ and PatBev side-by-side.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 30, 2022
More around-the-NBA notes: https://t.co/t5akSYVuKz
I would love to have the NSA recordings of that conversation.
Beverley and Westbrook talking is no small thing. Maybe the conversation was icy (maybe not), but it’s a start. Beverley and Westbrook’s issues date back nearly a decade, to the 2013 playoffs, when Beverley went for a steal, hit Westbrook’s knee and tore his meniscus. The feud between the pair has only ramped up over the years, with Westbrook saying in 2019, “Pat Bev trick y’all, man, like he playing defense. He don’t guard nobody, man. He just running around, doing nothing.” Beverley answered mocking Westbrook’s shot later that season.
The Lakers roster as we see it today could remain in place when training camp opens. New Lakers’ coach Darvin Ham has been given a lot of leeway to find lineups and combinations that work, and through preseason games and the first quarter of the season, expect him to try just about everything. That means everyone will have to be civil with one another — including Westbrook and Beverley, and LeBron James and Westbrook.
The Lakers roster could shift before training camp or the start of the season, the Lakers are still looking for upgrades. Utah also is pushing for the Lakers to be the third team in a Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks trade, with Los Angeles bringing its two available first-round picks to the party (2027 and 2029). In this hypothetical deal, the Lakers would send out the picks and Westbrook, and get back some combination of Bojan Bogdanovic, Cam Reddish, Malik Beasley and Jordan Clarkson. Are a few solid role players — and the addition-by-subtraction of moving Westbrook — worth the only first-round picks the Lakers control for the rest of this decade?
Maybe that trade happens, maybe it doesn’t, but the Lakers’ core players need to get along to at least start training camp. Beverley and Westbrook included.