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Lakers Russell Westbrook Has Hamstring Harm as Sixth Man

Posted on: October 15, 2022, 03:12h. 

Final up to date on: October 15, 2022, 08:22h.

The Los Angeles Lakers needed to strive one thing totally different, with level guard Russell Westbrook coming off the bench of their remaining preseason recreation. However the experiment didn’t go as deliberate when his stint prematurely ended due to a hamstring harm.

Russell Westbrook hamstring injury Lakers Sixth Man
Russell Westbrook from the Los Angeles Lakers, seen right here preventing by a pick-and-roll, suffered a hamstring harm in opposition to the Sacramento Kings in a preseason recreation on the Golden 1 Middle. (Picture: Getty)

Westbrook left the court docket within the first quarter in opposition to the Sacramento Kings with what the Lakers later defined was a left hamstring harm.

Rookie head coach Darvin Ham hinted the Lakers would use Westbrook as their sixth man after they signed level guard Dennis Schroder. However the idea of Westbrook as a reserve by no means got here to fruition till the Lakers gave it a whirl final night time.

In 78 video games with the Lakers final season, Westbrook averaged 18.5 factors, 7.4 rebounds, and seven.1 assists per recreation. He dipped beneath 20 factors per recreation for the primary time in 11 seasons.

The Lakers are +1880 odds to win the 2023 NA Championship, in accordance with DraftKings. The Lakers are +750 odds to win the Western Convention because the fourth-highest workforce on the futures board. Within the race to win the top-heavy Pacific Division, the Lakers are +800 odds and fourth on the futures board behind the L.A. Clippers (+180), Golden State Warriors (+195), and Phoenix Suns (+225).

The Lakers missed the postseason final yr, touchdown simply outdoors the Western Convention Play-In Event with a 33-49 report.

Westbrook the Sixth Man

Ham insisted that shifting Westbrook to the bench because the sixth man was not a demotion.

It’s not a demotion, it’s a realignment,” Ham advised the L.A. Instances.

Westbrook is a former MVP who averaged a triple-double for 3 seasons in a row throughout his tenure with the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder. It might be an enormous blow to his ego if he will get a full-time reassignment to the second unit. Ham and the Lakers suppose Westbrook coming off the bench would put them in the very best place to succeed on a nightly foundation and compete for a NBA championship in a stacked Western Convention.

“We mentioned it yesterday, and it’s one thing we’ve touched on through the summer season right here and there,” added Ham. “He’s been a professional, man. Russ is among the most lovely human beings I’ve ever come throughout on this enterprise, on and off the ground. He completely understood. Completely appeared me within the eye and stated, ‘Yeah coach, no matter you want me to do.’ You possibly can’t take that with no consideration.”

Boisterous followers, novice medical consultants, and NBA conspiracy theorists have been fast to voice their opinion on Westbrook and his subsequent hamstring harm. Though there was no video proof of when the harm truly occurred through the first quarter in opposition to the Kings, it coincidentally occurred on the identical night time the Lakers needed to check out Westbrook because the sixth man.

When Will the Lakers Commerce Westbrook?

Rob Pelinka, the overall supervisor of the Lakers, would’ve traded Westbrook by now if he discovered a suggestion than benefited the workforce and didn’t value them valuable draft capital. The Lakers leveraged the subsequent few years of draft picks in earlier trades that introduced Anthony Davis and Westbrook to the workforce.

The Brooklyn Nets have been interested by swapping Westbrook for Kyrie Irving. However the Nets needed the Lakers to throw in a few first-round draft picks. As a lot because the Lakers would love to maneuver Westbrook, they aren’t prepared to incorporate any first-round draft picks.

Pelinka hopes different groups will decrease their asking value after the season begins and it will get nearer to the commerce deadline subsequent February. Within the meantime, Ham and the Lakers haven’t any selection however to play Westbrook and take a look at to determine a manner how he can slot in with the workforce.

Ham changed head coach Frank Vogel, who acquired fired within the low season. Vogel and Westbrook clashed from their first observe in coaching camp final yr. Their fractured relationship was a harbinger of doom for the remainder of the season.

Ham stated his purpose was to discover a option to make the Lakers’ offense circulation with Westbrook, LeBron James, and Davis on the court docket on the identical time. After feeling out the workforce through the preseason, Ham needed to check out Westbrook off the bench. Vogel had an analogous notion final season. However he obtained plenty of blowback from Westbrook and the entrance workplace.



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