Rob Pelinka on Russell Westbrook: He needs to be a defense-first player

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Asked about Russell Westbrook, Rob Pelinka said if Russ picks up his player option to return, there have been multiple convos between Pelinka/Darvin Ham and Westbrook, with the message that they want Russ to focus first on defense. – 1:10 AM
Kyle Goon @kylegoon
Rob Pelinka declines to say exactly what the team will do with the team options for Austin Reaves (fairly obvious opt-in), Stanley Johnson and Wenyen Gabriel, but says all three have been in the building and they’ve seen growth with all of them. – 1:09 AM
Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
When it comes to acquiring players this offseason in trades or through free agency, I asked Rob Pelinka where he ranks availability history and leadership qualities in his player evaluations. Pelinka: “Those are core characteristics we really look for.” – 1:09 AM
Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
Lakers GM Rob Pelinka said he and coach Darvin Ham had meetings with Russell Westbrook. Pelinka: “We’ve been honest about how he fits with this team and what we expect from him next year.” Pelinka said that Russ is embracing Ham’s defensive philosophy – 1:07 AM
Kyle Goon @kylegoon
Rob Pelinka says Russell Westbrook has indicated to Darvin Ham that he’s ready to embrace a “defense-first” philosophy. Says Russ hasn’t told the Lakers definitively what he’s doing with his $47.1M option, but: “If he comes back, he will be embraced here with open arms.” – 1:05 AM
Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Rob Pelinka says he and Davin Ham have had multiple meetings with Russell Westbrook and have been honest about Russ’ role on the team and that he needs to be a defense-first player. He says Westbrook has yet to make a final decision on his player option for the 2022-23 season. – 1:05 AM
Kyle Goon @kylegoon
Rob Pelinka thinks once Max Christie gets with Darvin Ham, Chris Jent and the other developmental coaches on the Lakers: “I really think he’s gonna turn into a really good shooter.” Mentions his great looking touch as an indicator of confidence. – 12:58 AM
Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Rob Pelinka says Max Christie was a consensus pick for the Lakers’ scouts and front office. Pelinka said it’s rare that all parties are in agreement on who the pick should be. – 12:57 AM
Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Rob Pelinka on acquiring the 35th pick: “Our scouts have an incredible track record of finding guys in the second round that we can develop.”
On Max Christie: “A two-way, 3 and D type player … high character. He’ll bring the grit that kids that play (at MSU) bring.” – 12:56 AM
Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Rob Pelinka says the Lakers wanted to get younger and had been targeting a high second-round pick. He believes Max Christie is next in line with the Lakers’ long list of impressive draft picks over the past decade. Called him a “two-way, 3-and-D” player. – 12:56 AM
Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
I think the funniest thing about Kyrie possibly taking the TPMLE to join the Lakers is that Westbrook would still be there.
Do they John Wall him at that point? Do they give up picks to move him? Just play him 15 MPG?
I still don’t think Kyrie is coming but this fascinates me. – 7:41 PM
Jon Hamm @JonMHamm
I told my son the NBA Draft was tonight. He told me he wants the Thunder to draft Russell Westbrook. Didn’t seem very interested in my “well actually” that followed. – 6:40 PM

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