Lakers Rumors: Scott Brooks, Russell Westbrook's Former HC, Linked to LA HC Job

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 17, 2022

Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Scott Brooks on the court before an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Monday, March 14, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brett Davis)
AP Photo/Brett Davis

Last offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers wouldn't pony up the money to get Scott Brooks on Frank Vogel's coaching staff.

Now, Brooks may wind up being Vogel's replacement.

Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported Brooks is among the secondary names who could pop up if a flashier candidate doesn't take the job. 

Brooks has posted a 521-414 record in 12 seasons as an NBA coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Washington Wizards. He coached Russell Westbrook from 2008 to 2015 in Oklahoma City and then again during the 2020-21 season with the Wizards.

Vogel stumped for Brooks to join his staff, perhaps in part due to his relationship with Westbrook, but the Lakers were ultimately outbid by the Portland Trail Blazers. The experienced coach didn't help much in a miserable season in Portland, but there was little to be done on a Blazers roster that was riddled with injuries before hitting the tank button.

If the Lakers ultimately land on Brooks, it could be a sign the team is willing to try to make things work with Westbrook. The first season of the Westbrook era in Los Angeles was nothing short of an unmitigated disaster. Russ never meshed on the floor with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, both of whom dealt with injuries, while also bristling at criticism from fans and Vogel.

It seems almost certain that the Lakers will shop Westbrook hard this offseason in hopes of landing veterans who better fit with James and Davis. That said, the takers for Westbrook's $47.1 million salary will be few and far between.