Darvin Ham identifies several creative ways he plans to use Russell Westbrook next season

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham revealed how he will use Russell Westbrook in the 2022-23 season if Westbrook is still on the roster.

Ham explained how he plans to put Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the best positions possible to succeed.


“I think the style of play we’re going to have, all of those guys, not only just Russ, but LeBron, A.D., they’re going to be able to share the load,” Ham said. “And one thing I mentioned to Russ is the way I’m built, the success I’ve seen…one thing we always preached and will continue to preach to be our foundation of our teams is a defensive mindset, being able to defend at a high level.

“And I challenged him, and he accepted the challenge. That’s a part of the word ‘sacrifice’ we use. And being able to move him around in different spaces on the floor as we go back on the offensive end.

“Sometimes he’s going to be off the ball slashing. Sometimes he’s going to play in the dunker. Sometimes he’s going to be initiating things. He may post up a little bit. He may be the screener in pick-and-rolls. … Everybody needs to be involved with what we’re doing on both sides of the ball.”

During the 2021-22 campaign, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 29.8 percent from beyond the arc.

The former MVP struggled at times to find his footing in L.A.’s offense, as he and James are two ball-dominant players.

Ham appears to be willing to divide duties amongst the Lakers’ superstar trio in order for the unit to succeed in the 2022-23 season.

The Lakers will need Westbrook to get back to his All-Star form if they decide to keep him on the roster in the 2022-23 season. With Westbrook set to make over $47 million on his player option, Los Angeles can’t have him struggle if it wants to play at a high level.

It will be interesting to see how Ham’s plan translates to Westbrook’s game next season if the guard is still around.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.