A Sign Of Things To Come? Westbrook To Come Off The Bench

The Russell Westbrook drama is taking yet another twist, as Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has taken him out of the starting lineup for tonight's final preseason game. Could this be a sign of things to come?

According to NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, "Ham and Westbrook have been exploring the possibility of Westbrook quarterbacking the second unit." 

The idea is that playing with the bench unit will give Westbrook more freedom to have the ball in his hands (with LeBron not on the floor), to "play faster", and essentially, do his Russ thing

"This may very well be a precursor to an extended run with Russell Westbrook coming off the bench," said Woj.  

“It’s different combinations of seeing different guys play together,” Ham said Thursday. “You have to prepare yourself, you‘ve got to get out in front of the fact that there’s going to be injuries... So, you just have to be at the forefront of that by plugging in different lineups, different players and different positions."

Westbrook has started every single one of his more than 1,000 career games, save for the first 17 games of his rookie season—14 years and 1,004 games ago. 

The nine-time All-Star resisted any talk of coming off the bench during his disastrous first season with the Lakers last year, but it could be that new head coach Ham might be on to something, in framing it as more "freedom" for him to be himself. 

We'll see if one preseason game Friday night gives any indication as to whether it's a scenario we could see when Opening Night rolls around next week. 

Photo: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports