Report: Westbrook To Move To The Bench

Russell Westbrook will have a new role when he returns to the lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers game on Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

According to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, Westbrook will indeed not be in the starting lineup, and will instead be coming off the bench, says Smith. “That's what I'm being told.”

He explained on NBA Today that the beleaguered guard's new role will be to lead the bench unit. 

Westbrook, who is off to a horrendous start once again for the Lakers, shooting just 28% from the floor, and a miniscule 8% from three, will not play in LA's game tonight at the Denver Nuggets due to a hamstring issue. 

It was earlier today that NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski insinuated that this development of taking Russ out of the starting unit was "inevitable."

"I think a Russell Westbrook move to the bench is probably inevitable," said Woj. And when speaking on the possibility of a trade, it doesn't sound like one is imminent. Utah, Indiana, who the Lakers talked with a lot in the offseason, I'm told they've not heard from the Lakers yet this season."

Woj had reported last week that the Lakers were content to wait until about the 20-game mark (around Thanksgiving) to see how things shake out before they dive back into the trade market and look to deal Westbrook. 

How this impending move to the bench works out will go a long way to determining what Turkey Time brings in LA.  

Photo: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports