NBA Rumors: “Strong Disagreement” Within Lakers Organization on Russell Westbrook Trade

Published 07/31/2021, 10:18 PM EDT
Feb 26, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and guard Alex Caruso (4) celebrate in the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The Lakers, after the mind-bending Russell Westbrook trade, are now a WC equivalent to EC’s Brooklyn Nets. After an unfortunate round 1 loss in playoffs 2021, the LA-based organization is suddenly back in the NBA Finals conversations. But amidst all the positive PR for Jeanie Buss’s franchise, there are some eyebrow-raising issues that are now beginning to surface.

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Rob Pelinka’s front office can not expect just one All-Star trade to diagnose all their troubles. They’ll still need a strong bench to help the trio if they’re to learn from 2020-21’s mistakes. For that, they need the names like Alex Caruso in the squad, and keeping his services intact is turning into a demanding ask.

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Did Alex Caruso play his last season with the Lakers organization?

As per a fresh report by sportswriter Bill Reiter, the situation around Alex Caruso has intensified in LA. In his own words, “This could be the end of Alex Caruso era in Los Angeles… Sort of a cool figure here in LA. A source tells me that not everyone in the Lakers organization is enamored with Caruso as some of the other folks sitting in the stands and cheer him on. With Westbrook there, it’s obviously could be superfluous.”

Now, Alex Caruso is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and so it is eventually his decision if he wants to leave. However, the Lakers hold Bird Rights of the White Mamba and they can utilize it to go over the salary cap and pay more to make him stay. Now the question is, will they?

The 27-YO star point guard is a crowd favorite in Staples Center and averaged 6.4 points coming off the bench last season. He can take shots when needed and always remains a great off-the-ball player that the Lakers might not want to lose in any scenario.

Apr 28, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) jokes with Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) after their game at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Has Russell Westbrook trade anything to do with Caruso probably losing his interest?

In the same monologue, Bill further claimed that “there was a strong level of disagreement within that Lakers organization” because not many were unsure if they can lose their #22 draft and the depth to sign the star who comes with some flaws. As he further added, “Communicating with one Lakers source who was not excited about the Westbrook trade, he said, in the end, the star power and the belief by Rob Pelinka, the general manager in LA, that Westbrook and his ability, his track record of excellence is going to be what the Lakers need.”

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Apart from Caruso, the Lake Show has Talen Horton-Tucker as a restricted free agent this summer. So they still have an option to match his salary against the bid and keep him intact. Plus, with Caruso almost certain to receive a $10 million full mid-level exception offer from the Cavs, it’s a lot for the Lakers to stretch.

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If Caruso is to stay, he’d want a greater role and that might be tough with the incoming of Russ. So what do you think, will the LA fans still see their Bald Mamba and his surprising dunks at home? Help us know in the comments section below.

Watch this story – Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Other Los Angeles Lakers Players Who Changed Their Jerseys Multiple Times

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Sourabh Singh

1589 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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