The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2021-22 NBA season with championship hopes and dreams. Ultimately, they didn’t even end up making the playoffs.
Understandably, head coach Frank Vogel’s head was the first to roll as a result of last year’s failures.
Now the search is on for his replacement.
And even though Westbrook arguably played a bigger role in L.A.’s struggles last season than Vogel did, he seems being playing an even more important part in the process of finding Vogel’s replacement.
“The notion of Russell Westbrook remaining part of their program is seeming more real all the time,” reported Sam Amick of The Athletic. “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.”
Because there are four teams out there actively willing to accept Westbrook in a trade, the general assumption has been that he would be a goner this offseason.
But maybe that’s not the case.
The funny part is: Westbrook himself is acting like he wants out of Los Angeles. His social media activity speaks for itself.
In fact, aside from Phil Jackson, it’s hard to think of any member of the Lakers’ organization who actually wants him to remain in purple and gold.
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 17, 2022
This is shaping up to be an interesting next few weeks and months in Los Angeles.
Will Westbrook still be a Laker come the start of the 2022-23 NBA season?
Time will tell.