Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers has ‘more power’ to reserve Russell Westbrook in 2022

Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham talks about his plans for the role of Russell Westbrook in the upcoming 2022-’23 NBA season. However, that specific role may be the exact opposite of what the All-Star point guard wants.

The Lakers have been shopping Westbrook around the NBA this summer, exploring deals with the Brooklyn Nets and Indiana Pacers. Nothing came to fruition, leading to Los Angeles releasing information that Westbrook was meeting the Lakers stars and there was a commitment to making things work.

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Westbrook, the 2017 NBA MVP, wants to play his basketball style. However, fluctuating minutes of play and different roles under former coach Frank Vogel are the reasons the 33-year-old has blamed his disappointing season. If things are going to turn around for him on the pitch, he will have to prepare himself for more challenging situations this winter.

According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Ham have been empowered with the ability to reserve Westbrook at the end of next season’s game. Furthermore, the coach’s authority can even extend to removing the All-Star guard from the starting lineup altogether.

  • Russell Westbrook stats (2021-’22): 18.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 7.1 APG, .030 WS/48

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This further highlights the team’s genuine disinterest in bringing Westbrook back next season. Leaking out that Ham can put the 13-year veteran on may also be an attempt to push Westbrook’s desire out of Los Angeles.

Owing to $47 million this season, it’s no surprise that the Lakers couldn’t find a Westbrook fan without attaching a significant asset. With Kyrie Irving trading becoming increasingly unlikely, Los Angeles may have to bite the bullet by paying Indiana the asking price in trades for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield to improve the team and locker room.

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