The Lakers Will Reportedly Bring Russell Westbrook Off The Bench In Their Final Preseason Game

Russell Westbrook’s future with the Los Angeles Lakers is unclear. There is the possibility he is traded before his contract expires at the end of this season — there seems to be a new rumor every few weeks suggesting the Lakers have discussed a move with another team, with the Indiana Pacers a popular destination for the former league MVP.

And then, there’s the potential he just stays with the team this year, plays out his deal, and walks next summer. Should that happen, the question becomes whether he’ll remain in the starting lineup or come off the bench. While that’s been floated as a solution from early on in his Laker tenure, it’s never come to fruition, as Westbrook started all 78 games in which he appeared last season.

It appears that is on the verge of changing, at least for one night. According to Dave McMenamin and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Westbrook is going to come off the bench during the team’s preseason finale against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

As Woj went on to explain, the idea is that Westbrook can more or less be given free rein to play the way he wants with the team’s second unit.

Ham has mentioned he has “a clear plan” for how he wants to use Westbrook this season, although it was not clear if that meant bringing him off the bench.