Lakers head coach Darvin Ham is focusing to initially maximize the talent on the roster.
Darvin Ham is reinforcing his complimentary remarks about Russell Westbrook.
On Sunday’s summer league game between the Lakers and Charlotte Hornets, Ham made an appearance on the broadcast and showed enthusiasm for how Westbrook will fit into his system. Westbrook averages 18.5 points, 7.1 assists and 7.4 rebounds in his recent season. However, he averaged 22.2 points, 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds in his 2020-21 season. The Lakers didn’t make the playoffs in Westbrook’s first season with them, but they now have to pay his $47.1 million contract for the following season.
It is uncertain whether Westbrook will actually play for the Lakers in the upcoming season. The most widely circulated rumors about the Nets star, who has probably played his final game in Brooklyn, continue to center on a trade involving Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving. The Lakers appear to be the only team interested in trade for Irving right now, and Westbrook would have to be involved for payroll reasons.
Darvin Ham said: “I’m excited as hell to have Russell Westbrook on our team.”
Irving is considered one of the most cofounding stars in the NBA; however, there are still some questions regarding his on-court upgrade. He is a far better fit than Westbrook, who battled to establish a pattern all season long. He is a terrific shooter from three-point range and has the capacity to play off the ball.
The perception that Westbrook doesn’t fit with their roster has been refuted by the Lakers throughout the summer. Nevertheless, it is far preferable to openly compliment a player than to disparage him in order to raise his value. The Lakers must first appear willing to keep Westbrook if they want to make a favorable impression on a potential trading partner.
There hasn’t been much progress in finding Brooklyn a trade for Kevin Durant, and the Irving problem is unlikely to be resolved until then. Don’t be amazed if we have to wait until August for something to unfold if Irving ultimately decides to relocate to Los Angeles.
Westbrook’s career will be influenced by Irving. In the event that the Nets search elsewhere for a Kyrie deal, Westbrook will rejoin the Lakers for the upcoming campaign.