Russell Westbrook appears to give his approval to hiring Darvin Ham

Russell Westbrook appears to give his approval to hiring Darvin Ham

After a relatively lengthy process that included several well-known names, the Los Angeles Lakers finally named Darvin Ham as their new head coach.

Ham should bring a level of toughness and accountability that the Lakers sorely lacked last season, as well as the defensive and offensive schemes that helped make the Milwaukee Bucks NBA champions. There were several qualified candidates like Terry Stotts and Kenny Atkinson who made the final cut, but Los Angeles quickly hired Ham after they met in person.

The challenge ahead of Ham isn’t easy, especially as there’s still no clarity over the future of Russell Westbrook, who looks increasingly likely to remain on the roster for the 2022 season- 23. Former head coach Frank Vogel was unable to make full use of Westbrook, and now the task falls to Ham who will have to find ways to utilize the beleaguered playmaker properly.

However, it looks like Westbrook was in Ham’s favor as he reposted the official announcement of his Lakers signing on his Instagram account, via The Lakers review:

Getting a star endorsement is important for any new head coach, so it looks like Ham at least has Westbrook’s backing. Westbrook made it clear in his end-of-season presser that he and Vogel didn’t always agree and that kind of distraction would make it difficult for any team to succeed.

One of the main points of attention in the search for Lakers coaches was how candidates would use Westbrook, and Ham must have devised a well-thought-out plan if he was able to get the job so quickly. If Westbrook dons Purple and Gold again, it will be interesting to see what Ham has up his sleeve.

Opposing teams not looking to do Lakers a favor in potential deals for Russell Westbrook

The cost of moving Westbrook appears to be too high for the Lakers, who would be unwilling to include future draft compensation to offload him. As an expiring $47 million, Westbrook presents some value for teams who may be looking to make some long-term money, but so far the market looks cool to acquire him.

LA is going to have a hard time pushing through any deal as the teams know they’re doing everything they can to get rid of Westbrook, giving credence to reports that no one is looking to do them a favor.

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