Report: Lakers, Vogel at odds over Westbrook's starting role


Former Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook continues to have a nightmarish time in his hometown with the Los Angeles Lakers. Earlier this week, there was a report regarding the 33-year-old being one and done in LA as there's mutual interest in a divorce for both parties

Now the drama is taking another twist as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that there's an 'increasing push' from those within the Lakers organization to demote Westbrook from the starting lineup.

However, head coach Frank Vogel has opposed bringing nine-time All-Star off the bench, per Wojnarowski. There's been plenty of conflict over how the Lakers can best use the guard, but thus far, they haven't gotten consistent production from him. 

As a result, the Lakers organization could believe coming off the bench is what's best for Westbrook. However, Vogel is banking on a late-season surge from Westbrook, like he did last season to help the Wizards get into the final playoff spot, per Woj. 

"We have discussions, just like the front office has thousands of trade discussions every deadline, and they don't discuss every one of those," Vogel said on the possibility of Westbrook coming off the bench. "Most of them don't come to fruition. And that's where we're at with Russ. Is there a path where that's the better option? We have talked about that. We've talked about everything we can do with our team. We're not there."

Westbrook is currently averaging 18.1 points per game this season, shooting just 43% from the floor and 28% on threes.

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