Russell Westbrook didn’t change teams this offseason, but he’s adjusting to a new coaching staff for the fourth year in a row, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has promised that his approach will unleash Westbrook’s talents, and the early returns have been encouraging.
“Definitely different – just the ability to be able to get in the open floor, attack with space, take my time,” Westbrook said. “Miss or make, shots will come as the season prolongs. But just get in that rhythm and know that I can get to any spot that I want to and get in-rhythm shots for sure, so far.”
Westbrook is coming off a difficult season that began with a trade from the Wizards to the Lakers, which meant far less time as the primary ball-handler. Westbrook is working to embrace Ham’s vision for him as a screener and a cutter and is hoping to cut down on turnovers after committing 295 last season.
“My speed sometimes speeds me up and lets me get to a place fast,” he said. “But my patience and understanding of my spacing and my spots are important to my efficiency and how I can improve in finishing around the rim, making shots and not rushing.”
There’s more on the Lakers:
- Anthony Davis was able to practice today after lower back tightness prevented him from playing in Wednesday’s game, Goon adds. The team hasn’t determined if Davis will try to play Sunday against the Warriors. After resolving a visa issue, Dennis Schröder is in Los Angeles and is expected to join the team Monday.
- The contract extension for general manager Rob Pelinka was worked out early this offseason, a source tells Sam Amick of The Athletic. Once the decision was made in April to fire head coach Frank Vogel, Lakers management decided to extend Pelinka so his contract would align with the new head coach’s.
- After the Lakers signed Shaquille Harrison earlier today, their G League affiliate completed a trade to obtain his returning rights, tweets Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. The South Bay Lakers sent the rights to Mac McClung and Jared Wilson-Frame to the Delaware Blue Coats (the Sixers‘ affiliate) in exchange for the rights to Harrison and Naz Mitrou-Long.