Lakers Russell Westbrook Has Hamstring Harm as Sixth Man

Posted on: October 15, 2022, 03:12h. 

Final up to date on: October 15, 2022, 03:12h.

The Los Angeles Lakers wished to strive one thing totally different with level guard Russell Westbrook coming off the bench of their closing preseason sport, however the experiment didn’t go as deliberate when his stint prematurely ended attributable to a hamstring damage.

Russell Westbrook hamstring injury Lakers Sixth Man
Russell Westbrook from the Los Angeles Lakers, seen right here preventing by way of a pick-and-roll, suffered a hamstring damage towards the Sacramento Kings in a preseason sport on the Golden 1 Heart. (Picture: Getty)

Westbrook left the court docket within the first quarter towards the Sacramento Kings, which the Lakers later defined was a left hamstring damage.

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

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

The Lakers are +1880 odds to win the 2023 NA Championship, based on DraftKings. The Lakers are +750 odds to win the Western Convention because the fourth-highest group 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 12 months, and bubbled the Western Convention Play-In Match with a 33-49 file.

Westbrook the Sixth Man

Ham insisted that transferring 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 could possibly be an enormous blow to his ego if he will get a full time reassignment to the second unit. Ham and the Lakers assume Westbrook coming off the bench would put them in the most effective 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 throughout 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 regarded me within the eye and mentioned, ‘Yeah coach, no matter you want me to do.’ You possibly can’t take that with no consideration.”

Boisterous followers, newbie medical consultants, and NBA conspiracy theorists had been fast to voice their opinion on Westbrook and his subsequent hamstring damage. Though there was no video proof of when the damage really occurred throughout the first quarter towards the Kings, it coincidentally occurred on the identical evening the Lakers wished 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 group and didn’t value them treasured draft capital. The Lakers leveraged the following few years of draft picks in earlier trades that introduced Anthony Davis and Westbrook to the group.

The Brooklyn Nets had been desirous about swapping Westbrook for Kyrie Irving, however the Nets wished the Lakers to throw in a few first-round draft picks. As a lot because the Lakers would love to maneuver Westbrook, they don’t seem to be keen 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 don’t have any selection however to play Westbrook and take a look at to determine a approach how he can slot in with the group.

Ham changed head coach Frank Vogel who acquired fired within the offseason. Vogel and Westbrook clashed from their first apply in coaching camp final 12 months. Their fractured relationship was a harbinger of doom for the remainder of the season.

Ham mentioned his objective was to discover a method to make the Lakers’ offense move with Westbrook, James, and Davis on the court docket on the identical time. After feeling out the group throughout the preseason, Ham wished to check out Westbrook off the bench. Vogel had an identical notion final season, however he acquired numerous blowback from Westbrook and the entrance workplace.