NBA Similar Player Projections: Russell Westbrook's Year Is Even Worst Than Stats Suggest

Russell Westbrook
Getty | Tim Nwachukwu

Sports
Ernesto Cova

Russell Westbrook's first year with the Los Angeles Lakers hasn't gone as expected. The fans have lost their patience with him due to his erratic decision-making and inefficient scoring, especially amid the team's tough stretch.

The worst part about his addition is the fact that he's making nearly $44 million this season alone. And, when compared to other former players with FiveThirtyEgith's tools, you can quickly realize that he's not bringing back the same value.

With a 5-year value of just $23.1 million, FiveThirtyEight has labeled him a 'dubious starter'. Here, we'll let you know how he stacks up against other players.

3. 1993-94 Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas
Getty | Focus On Sport

Well, there should be nothing wrong with drawing comparisons to Isiah Thomas if you're a point guard. However, Westbrook is playing just like Thomas in his final year in the league, so that's not exactly ideal.

Westbrook's three-point tendency of 22% and true shooting percentage of 51% make him far from an efficient scorer right now.

That year, Zeke averaged roughly 14.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game on 41.7% from the floor. Per FiveThirtyEight, he's got a similarity score of 23 with this version of Thomas.

3. 1999-00 Rock Strickland

Rod Strickland
Getty | Doug Pensinger

Rod Strickland was a solid scorer throughout his career in the league, but he was far from his prime during the 1999-00 season.

Playing for the Washington Wizards, Strickland averaged just 12.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game on 42.9% from the floor. Conversely, he was averaging 2.7 turnovers per game, far below Westbrook's 4.2.

Russ' TO percentage of 17% also ranks near the bottom when compared to all players in NBA history, per FiveThirtyEight.

1. 2008-09 Andrew Miller

Andre Miller
Getty | Daniel Petty

And last but not least, we find 2008-09 Andre Miller, the most similar player to this version of Russell Westbrook.

Just like Westbrook, Miller was once among the league leaders in assists per game and considered one of the finest playmakers in the world, but that was long before that season.

That year, Miller averaged 14.0 points and 5.4 assists to go along with 1.0 steals per game on 44.5% from the floor. He would go on to average 12.7 points next season and that would be the last time he'd ever average double-digit scoring.

Miller's defense left a lot to be desired at that point in his career, just like Westbrook with his -1.7 defensive +/-.

All things considered, it seems like Westbrook's prime is far behind him and he's not likely to live up to that massive contract, so the Lakers may want to consider their options and make a tough decision in the offseason.

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