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Lakers to deliver Russell Westbrook off bench in ultimate preseason sport: report

The state of affairs in Los Angeles relating to Lakers guard Russell Westbrook’s function within the ultimate yr of his contract has been brewing for a while. 

Westbrook, who opted-in to his $47.1 million participant choice throughout the offseason, is coming off a troublesome first season in LA, with the guard averaging his lowest level totals since his second season within the league whereas capturing simply 29.8% from past the three-point line because the Lakers went 33-49 and missed the playoffs. 

Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up before the game against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 9, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco.

Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up earlier than the sport in opposition to the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 9, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco.
(Noah Graham/NBAE by way of Getty Images)

With the addition of Patrick Beverley in August, the query of who will begin for the Lakers throughout the common season has been bandied about. 

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In the Lakers’ ultimate preseason sport in opposition to the Sacramento Kings Friday night time, Westbrook will come off the bench in a transfer that might spill into the common season, in accordance with ESPN. 

First-year head coach Davin Ham has reportedly engaged in conversations with Westbrook about being the sixth man off of the bench and main the Lakers’ second unit. 

“It’s completely different mixtures of seeing completely different guys play collectively,” Ham mentioned Thursday when discussing the Lakers completely different preseason lineups. 

Russell Westbrook, #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers, runs onto the court before the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 12, 2022 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

Russell Westbrook, #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers, runs onto the courtroom earlier than the sport in opposition to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 12, 2022 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE by way of Getty Images)

“You have to organize your self. You obtained to get out in entrance of the truth that there’s going to be accidents. We don’t need them to occur. We don’t need them to occur to any of our guys, not to mention our principal guys. You simply have to organize your self and be on the forefront of that by plugging in numerous lineups, completely different gamers and completely different positions in order that when that day comes, you are feeling slightly bit extra ready.”

Westbrook has been rumored in quite a few commerce situations throughout the offseason however has acquired help from teammate LeBron James and proprietor Jeanie Buss.

“All I can say is that, from my standpoint, (Westbrook) was our greatest participant final yr,” Buss advised The Athletic in September. “He performed just about each single sport, confirmed up, labored arduous. You know, I’d have cherished to have seen what this staff would have seemed like in the event that they stayed wholesome. 

Russell Westbrook, #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers, warms up before the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 12, 2022 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

Russell Westbrook, #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers, warms up earlier than the sport in opposition to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 12, 2022 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE by way of Getty Images)

“It’s actually robust to win when Anthony Davis isn’t on the courtroom. LeBron was harm plenty of the season. But Russ confirmed up each sport and performed arduous each night time. And, you realize, I simply actually respect him for who he’s and what he brings to the staff.” 

Buss later clarified in a textual content to The Athletic that she meant to say that Westbrook was the Lakers’ most constant participant, as he performed in 78 video games final season.

The Lakers open the common season in opposition to the Golden State Warriors on October 18. 

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