One of the biggest talking points that the disappointing 2021-22 season of the Lakers has left was the underwhelming level of Russell Westbrook. Having arrived in a blockbuster trade last year, Brodie never looked like his true self since moving to Los Angeles.

His future at the organization continues to be questioned even after picking up his player option and receiving nothing but praise from new head coach Darvin Ham.

The former Bucks assistant has made it clear how highly he thinks of Westbrook, suggesting he has big plans for the former NBA MVP. However, Ham will reportedly have more power to bench him than Frank Vogel did last year.

Rumor: Darvin Ham will have more power to bench Russell Westbrook this season

(Via The Athletic)

"Based on the current roster, I project the closing lineup to look something like this: Davis, Toscano-Anderson, James, Brown and Reaves. I think Westbrook will often be in there, too, but it will depend on how he’s shooting, his decision-making and his defense.

"Lakers head coach Darvin Ham will have more power to bench Westbrook down the stretch of games, according to league sources. (Former head coach Frank Vogel did so a few times last season). That could eventually extend to removing Westbrook from the starting lineup as well.

"With the fifth spot, Westbrook may have the advantage considering his status, but he may end up rotating with Brown, Nunn or Walker, depending on how they’re shooting that night."

The Lakers' patience with Westbrook appears to have worn thin. Ham seems to be more optimistic about him, but in the event he changes his mind, he would have all the support he needs.