After the underwhelming 2021-22 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of work to do in the offseason. They started it off by letting go of head coach Frank Vogel and replacing him with Darvin Ham. This will be Ham’s first chance at being a head coach for an NBA team.
Although he has been an assistant coach for a lot of years, being a head coach comes with a lot of pressure. Additionally, he has the difficult task of managing LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook in particular will be a tough nut to crack for Ham. Brodie had a subpar 2021-22 NBA season and many believe that the Purple & Gold should trade him. Now the problem is that Russ has a huge contract and there is a very low chance that any team would be willing to take on that contract.
So the other option for the Lakers is to incorporate him into the team and make sure to play him to his best abilities. According to Lakers beat writer Jovan Buha, Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham have had multiple meetings with Russ about his role for the upcoming season. They want him to play with a defense-first mentality.
“Rob Pelinka says he and Darvin 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.”