Frank Vogel on scenario where Lakers trade Westbrook: “If there’s a way to improve our team, we’ll improve our team”

Nov 26, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel talks to members of media during the pre-game press conference before their game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their worst loss of the season last night. No, really. I’m sure you’re reading this thinking “They’ve had about 15 of those types of losses this season.” That’s true, but this 107-105 loss against the Portland Trail Blazers was definitely the worst. Just take a look at the Trail Blazers’ roster after they’ve made a flurry of trades ahead of today’s deadline.

Speaking of the deadline, that type of loss just continues to reinforce the idea that this team needs to find some way to improve before 3 p.m. EST’s deadline hits. So naturally, head coach Frank Vogel was asked a question surrounding Russell Westbrook whose name is continuing to be in trade rumors. Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin had this report on what he said to The Athletic’s Bill Oram.

Vogel’s answer is sort of a boilerplate answer from a head coach ahead of the deadline, as it doesn’t dismiss the notion that the team may be active at the deadline while also not throwing any players under the bus in the process. However, given how much the Lakers traded for Westbrook and how he is (or at least was supposed to be) the team’s third star… you’d think Vogel would be able to say he is off the table in trades if he truly was.

The loss to the Bucks the day before was almost as equally depressing, given the fact that it showed how far the Lakers are from being at the level of a championship-caliber team like Milwaukee. After that game, LeBron James was asked about being able to reach the Bucks’ level this season, saying it’s not something they can do “right now”. Emphasis on “right now”, of course.

After the loss to the Trail Blazers, LeBron said it feels like the team is in “a fog” and that they’re just trying to “see what’s on the other side of it”. Within that fog, they may leave Westbrook to another team. Within that fog, they may pick up someone like the Knicks’ Cam Reddish while also leaving Talen Horton-Tucker to another team. Either way, it definitely seems as if something will be different with the team by the time the trade deadline ends.

Whether or not that gets them out of this fog remains to be seen. Given their lack of viable trade assets that could propel them to championship contention, I’d place my money on them staying in that fog until the offseason.

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