LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ First Target Was Not Russell Westbrook But This Big NBA Star

Published 09/28/2021, 1:57 PM EDT
Mar 21, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers injured forward LeBron James (left) and Anthony Davis against the Phoenix Suns during the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers have been very busy during the off-season. After a disappointing 2020-21 NBA season marred by injuries, the Lakers decided to do a massive overhaul of their roster. LeBron James and Anthony Davis struggled due to injuries last season and couldn’t help the Lakers go past the first round.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, this time the Lakers have acquired many stars during the off-season. They have added 14 players to their roster that boasts stars like Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan, among others.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The signing of Russell Westbrook has in particular impressed many fans as they believe he will be a great addition to the squad. However, according to recent news Russell Westbrook was not their first choice.

WATCH THIS STORY: Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook & Other Offseason Trades That Have Proved to be a Blessing in Disguise

Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James wanted to sign Damian Lillard

According to The Athletic, Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James’ first preference during the off-season was Trail Blazers’ star, Damian Lillard. The Lakers were trying to find ways of singing stars such as Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, DeMar DeRozan, and Russell Westbrook.

However, they weren’t able to sign Damian Lillard but were still happy with signing triple-double king Russell Westbrook.

The Atletic reported that the Lakers didn’t just sit in their offices during the off-season, LeBron set up a ‘war room’ at his Brentwood estate. LeBron’s Brentwood estate was used for in-person meetings with players. But even Westbrook’s signing wasn’t easy.

“No one thought that Russ would get out,” an NBA source told The Athletic.

However, the Lakers and Westbrook were able to find a solution and Westbrook was signed. Damian Lillard, who was top on the priority list, later said that he will be staying in Portland.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The 31-yar-old point guard has been with the Blazers since 2012 and has made six All-Star appearances so far.

Watch This Story

The Lakers have always attracted the best players in the NBA. They’re the joint-most successful franchise in NBA history and their legacy attracts talented superstars towards them.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

They already boasted LeBron James and Anthony Davis, two of the best in the NBA. But despite that, they went shopping in the summer and assembled a ‘super team’. Now, with the addition of someone like Russell Westbrook, the Lakers team will be a force to reckon with.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Abhishek Singh

188 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT