Russell Westbrook can’t be the star on the Dallas Mavericks: Is he willing to change?
This would be the crux of the Mavericks having interest in Westbrook if he is available for the veteran minimum after a buyout. Is the former MVP willing to accept a 25-minute per-game role as the Mavs' sixth man? He can come in and be the number one option when Doncic is off the floor, but Westbrook is unlikely to be part of the team’s closing lineup.
When he is on the floor with Luka, Westbrook would have to be willing to set some screens and roll to the rim because his jumper is not a threat. The Mavericks do not want him clogging the lane or standing in the corner waiting for a pass. That will just draw more pressure and attention to Doncic.
Russell Westbrook would get some opportunities to run the offense, even when Doncic is on the floor. The Mavericks want to limit Luka’s workload to keep him fresher in games. It is why they played two ball-handlers after trading for Spencer Dinwiddie at the deadline last season. Westbrook would have plenty of chances to shine, but he would need to fit into his role.
Could Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd convince him to do that? Kidd’s mentor Frank Vogel could not as reports suggest that Westbrook never respected Vogel. Would things change in Dallas under Kidd? The Mavs head coach is a Hall of Fame point guard and one of the 75 best players in NBA history, but Russell Westbrook does not seem willing to change.