For his first campaign in the City of Angels, Russell Westbrook largely disappointed his staff and the supporters. He had come to fill the absences of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, while bringing a welcome new breath to the Lakers. If Darvin Ham intends to revive him, as he has made clear through multiple statements, he could also make a strong choice with his player.
This is the last week of « vacation » for the NBA franchises, which are preparing to return to the courts to prepare for the new season. A long-awaited moment we imagine in Los Angeles, where the Lakers will have to bounce back after the failed exercise last year, starting with Russell Westbrook. If he needed it, the point guard must have received a boost of motivation with the remarkable arrivals of Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schroder, who will steal some playing time from him.
Darvin Ham’s initial idea is however quite surprising, since the coach could innovate in order to steal minutes from all his leaders. Westbrook and Schroder will share the lead, while Beverley could shift to a very surprising position to try to play as much as possible and positively influence the results of his team. Nevertheless, plans often change, to the point that Russ will be heavily threatened depending on his performance.
Russell Westbrook soon sanctioned at the Lakers?
If Brodie manages to chain the good performances, no problem, the coach should continue to make him the starting point guard. But what will happen if he doesn’t? If his contribution on the floor continues to handicap his people like last season? According to journalists Sam Amick and Jovan Buva of The Athletic, the solution has already been found: the former Thunder player will come off the bench to bring a boost to what is commonly called the “second unit”.
« There’s a legitimate chance Russell Westbrook is eventually deployed as the team’s sixth man, depending on how his fit with LeBron James develops. »@jovanbuha and @talkhoops discuss the Lakers ahead of the 2022-23 season.https://t.co/M5QBYZa9CO pic.twitter.com/1mSFJjp4l4
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) September 21, 2022
« There’s a legitimate chance that Russell Westbrook could eventually be deployed as the sixth man on this team, depending on how his deal with LeBron James develops. »
We know, play with LeBron James is not always easy. Despite advancing age, the King remains involved in ball possessions, which is not surprising with his role as a creator. Can the two players find a happy medium, especially with Davis and Schroder? The question is legitimate. This plan remains shaky, especially since it is not yet known if Russ is open to the idea of coming off the bench. The trader remains an option, but impossible to find satisfaction on the market, still according to the same source:
Buha: “I think Westbrook is going to stay a Laker, at least until the start of training camp. Los Angeles couldn’t find an ideal partner on the market, and wants to see what the roster might look like before making a decision on Westbrook’s future. It’ll stick around for a few weeks easily, for now anyway. »
A trade for Russell Westbrook isn’t imminent unless a franchise comes forward to satisfy the Lakers’ market demands. Otherwise, he will be the starting point guard to allow the Angelinos to bounce back, but everything will depend on his association with the players. We understand that if the formula does not work, Brodie will be the first to pay the price.