1 Major Thing Lakers Want To See From Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Los Angeles Lakers are going to look different during the 2022-23 season than they did during the 2021-22 season. The biggest change will come on the sidelines, where Frank Vogel was replaced after three NBA seasons on the job by Darvin Ham.

This will be Ham’s first head coaching job in the NBA and he is jumping right into the fire with the Lakers. Los Angeles is in the business of contending for and winning championships and Ham will have his hands full helping them get back to that level.

The front office still has some work to do when it comes to upgrading the roster. This doesn’t look like a contender on paper as they still have some things to figure out. One of those obstacles they have to figure out is Russell Westbrook.

Los Angeles took a chance acquiring Westbrook from the Washington Wizards last offseason and it didn’t pan out. He was unable to find a niche with the team and he has dug himself an even deeper hole with some of his comments during his exit interview and firing his long-time agent Thad Foucher.

Westbrook’s skill set is one that didn’t mesh well with LeBron James and Anthony Davis and Ham is hoping to fix that with scheme changes. According to Yahoo Sports, the Lakers are hopeful to see one major change from Westbrook this season.

“The team is also hopeful for a corner-3 shooting percentage bump from Russell Westbrook next season, sources said.”

Becoming even an average 3-point shooter from the corner would help the Lakers’ offense immensely. Teams were willing to let Westbrook shoot the ball whenever he wanted last season as he was inefficient on the offensive end. It led to some ugly possessions for the team.

If a bump in corner 3-point shooting percentage occurs, the offense will be opened up, allowing James and Davis to operate with more space on the interior. If an improvement doesn’t occur or Westbrook is unwilling to make a compromise, other changes will have to be made.

Ham has reportedly been given more freedom when it comes to lineups and finding combinations that work on the court. If that means Westbrook is benched at the end of games, Ham will have the authority to make that change. Whatever lineup combination results in the Lakers winning more games is what should be deployed by Ham.

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