Darvin Ham's latest comments point to Russell Westbrook staying on Lakers roster next season - Lakers Daily

Darvin Ham’s latest comments point to Russell Westbrook staying on Lakers roster next season

Russell Westbrook Lakers

New Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham appears to be offering hints that Russell Westbrook will remain with the team for the 2022-23 campaign.

Ham, who was hired by the Lakers last month, was officially introduced to the media during a press conference on Monday. The fact that Westbrook was in attendance at the event is one indication that his days with the team may not be numbered.

Westbrook was acquired last offseason as part of a blockbuster deal with the Washington Wizards. His acquisition raised hopes of another title run by the Lakers.

Instead, the combination of integrating Westbrook into the team’s starting lineup and key injuries made the season a disaster and led to the dismissal of former head coach Frank Vogel.

Rumors about trading Westbrook during the Lakers’ season surfaced, with the general feeling being that his tenure with the Lakers would eventually be dealt sooner or later.

The arrival of Ham appears to have wiped the slate clean with regard to Westbrook’s previous struggles. Having both NBA playing and coaching experience, the 48-year-old Ham knows the ups and downs that come with playing in the league, which gives him a chance to forge a strong bond with Westbrook.

Ham has watched Westbrook deliver all-around performances during the course of his impressive NBA career. Even though the veteran is turning 34 in November, Ham obviously believes that he can still play a key role in helping the Lakers reach their full potential.

Given Westbrook’s huge salary for next season, trading him for anything of value would be a difficult challenge. That’s why Ham appears intent on using all the talent that Westbrook has to offer.