Lakers Rumors: Russell Westbrook Hopeful For Return Against Timberwolves; Likely To Come Off Bench
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers will likely be without Russell Westbrook when they begin their road trip on Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets as he is listed as doubtful with a hamstring injury.

Westbrook first suffered the injury in the preseason finale against the Sacramento Kings, attributing it to coming off the bench for the first time since his rookie season.

The point guard was able to play in the Lakers’ first three regular season games though after being reinserted into the starting lineup. Westbrook’s play left much to be desired in those three games, but perhaps the hamstring was still giving him issues considering he is now set to miss his first game of the season.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Westbrook is targeting a return on Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves so it doesn’t seem that the injury is too serious:

Once Westbrook is able to return, Stephen A. Smith reported on ESPN that he is likely to go back to coming off the bench for L.A.:

“From what I’m being told, Russell Westbrook is not gonna play tonight but he is going to probably come off the bench and lead the second unit Friday in the next game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. That’s what I’m being told so that remains to be seen how that’s gonna pan out.”

Westbrook has made it clear that he’s not really comfortable coming off the bench so it will be interesting to see if he is willing to do it for the betterment of the team.

Darvin Ham has made it clear that he will do whatever he feels is best and that players will have to make sacrifices, speaking specifically about Westbrook.

Lakers trying to get creative in Westbrook trade talks

If Westbrook coming off the bench doesn’t work then the only option left for the Lakers would be to send him home or trade him.

It seems that the Lakers are already talking to teams about trade possibilities, trying to get creative with three or even four-team deals that would bring them back multiple role players.

Until a trade comes to fruition though, the Lakers will try their best to make it work with Westbrook and him being accepting of a bench role would go a long way in making that happen.

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