Los Angeles Lakers made the biggest trade of the offseason by acquiring Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards.
With this move, the Lakers became again the favorite to win the title, along with the Brooklyn Nets. In her recent interview with Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, Jeanie Buss discussed the Lakers’ offseason and the Westbrook trade.
“We’re over the cap. We have really no room. When we made that trade (for Westbrook), we knew we’d have to fill the roster with seven or eight players at the veterans minimum. And so trying to convince players to come on one-year deals for the minimum is a challenge.
So you get a lot of guys that are willing to take less money for the opportunity to possibly go for a championship, or play in a city that has other opportunities as they transition to the next part of their career. And we kind of had to capitalize on that because we’ve got three players taking up 90 percent of our payroll, and certainly, Russell Westbrook.
You know we’ve got a big three now, and Russell is somebody that’s from L.A., went to UCLA, and I think our fans are going to be just cuckoo for him, are going to be so happy that he’s here. It’s like the return of one of our own.”
As the Lakers’ governor mentions, the franchise did an incredible job at surrounding their elite talent, finding value signings and players willing to sacrifice money to join the Lakers.