Report: Lakers have been asking coaching candidates how they’d use Russell Westbrook

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2021-22 NBA season came to an end, many have assumed that the team’s front office plans to do anything it can to part ways with guard Russell Westbrook.

Westbrook was added to the team in a blockbuster trade last summer, but his addition to the roster did not lead to the kind of success that the team hoped for this season.

As part of the team’s incredibly disappointing season, former head coach Frank Vogel lost his job. The team is currently looking to fill the vacancy.

According to a report, the team is asking candidates how they would use Westbrook in their respective systems with the Lakers. That seems to indicate that the team is not completely committed to moving the former MVP this summer.

“Yet though it remains unclear who will replace the fired Frank Vogel, with Kenny Atkinson, Adrian Griffin, Mark Jackson, Darvin Ham and Terry Stotts among the known candidates, we continue to learn about how Lakers officials see their own roster by way of the coaching search itself,” Sam Amick of The Athletic reported. “More specifically, the notion of Russell Westbrook remaining part of their program is seeming more real all the time. Despite the widely held belief that the Lakers would find a way to trade Westbrook before the start of next season, sources say their coaching candidates have been asked to discuss how they would use him in their system during interviews. The takeaway for candidates, it seems, is that maximizing Westbrook’s presence after his disastrous 2021-22 season is considered an important part of this job.”

In a perfect world, the Lakers would surely love to get rid of Westbrook and exchange him for a talented player that better fits their needs. However, given his combination of his age, contract and lack of production this season, trading him away is far easier said than done.

For that reason, it seems wise for the Lakers to be asking candidates about how they’d use the veteran.

As the 2022 NBA Playoffs continue, the Lakers will surely continue to scour the league for potential options at head coach. Who they hire may offer some insight into how the team would use Westbrook next season if he were to find himself in L.A. again.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.