NBA News: Lakers Want Russell Westbrook To Come Off The Bench

Russell Westbrook
Getty | Robert Gauthier

Sports
Ernesto Cova

The Russell Westbrook experiment continues to raise multiple takes online. The Los Angeles Lakers just snapped a four-game losing streak, yet they're still far behind in the race for a playoff berth.

Once again, most people blame Westbrook for the team's struggles, even though their issues go way beyond just one player.

Adrian Wojnarowski: Lakers Are Pushing Frank Vogel To Bench Westbrook

Russell Westbrook dribbling
Getty | Meg Oliphant

Westbrook hasn't played at the MVP level he was used to playing and some believe that he'd be better coming off the bench. Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, that's the sentiment around the organization:

There has been an increasing push among many in the Los Angeles Lakers organization to demote nine-time All-Star guard Russell Westbrook from the starting lineup, but so far coach Frank Vogel has resisted bringing him off the bench, sources told ESPN," Woj said.

There Has Been Some Tension Between Him And Vogel

Frank Vogel
Getty | Harry How

The coaching staff has pushed coach Vogel to pull the plug and demote Westbrook to the second unit:

"The coaching staff and Westbrook have had differing visions on how best to utilize the 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player, and that has partly accounted for some tense moments between Vogel and Westbrook in the past several days, including during a Friday team film session, sources said," Woj added.

It's 'Impossible' That He's Back On The Team Next Season

Russell Westbrook flexing
Getty | MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

All things considered, the question will now be whether the Lakers find him a trade partner, buy him out, or waive and stretch him. But there's just no way they'll bring him back, per Marc Stein:

"For all the obvious complexities involved in trying to move Westbrook when he’s owed a whopping $47 million next season at age 34, one league source described the idea of bringing him back next season as “impossible” based on current tension levels," Stein reported. "The question then becomes: If the Lakers can’t construct a palatable trade, do they try to just buy Westbrook out? Or waive and stretch him?"

Magic Johnson Says He Could Go Down As The Worst Trade In Franchise History

Magic Johnson
Wikimedia | Heiko Gerber

The pressure continues to mount and even Magic Johnson took swipe at Westbrook, claiming that it could go down as one of the most infamous moves in franchise history:

“This [Westbrook] trade could go down as the worst trade in Lakers history if we don’t get out of the play-in game," the Lakers legend said.

He's Not The Only One To Blame

Russell Westbrook on the bench
Giphy | NBA

Westbrook hasn't performed as expected but it's impossible to blame one player for a team that's several games below .500. People should hold Anthony Davis accountable for not being healthy.

They should call out Frank Vogel for not making adjustments or Rob Pelinka for letting LeBron James build the team. Pointing the finger solely at Westbrook is just unfair and inaccurate.

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