Russell Westbrook laughed when reporter asked if he might come off bench next season for Lakers

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook had an interesting reaction when a question was asked about him potentially coming off the bench for the Lakers in the 2022-23 season.

It’s hard to blame Westbrook for reacting in such a way, as he’s a former MVP and has been a starter for basically his entire NBA career (Westbrook started 65 of 82 games in his rookie season).

While the Lakers guard did struggle in the 2021-22 season, the team doesn’t have a better option than him at the point guard position heading into the offseason. The Lakers could always make a move for another guard, but it’s going to be hard to find one with a better resume than Westbrook’s while still keeping him on the roster.

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

He never fully meshed with the Lakers roster in the 2021-22 season, and it will be up to new head coach Darvin Ham to get Westbrook comfortable in a role alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

When one looks at Westbrook’s entire career, the 2021-22 campaign was certainly a season to forget.

His 18.5 points per game is the lowest number that he’s averaged since his second season in the NBA. In addition to that, he averaged fewer than 10.3 assists per game for just the second time in the last seven seasons.

It will be interesting to see how Ham integrates Westbrook in the rotation if the guard is on the Lakers and not traded prior to the 2022-23 season.

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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.