Over the weekend, Russell Westbrook made a move that was shocking for some – Russ and his longtime agent, Thad Foucher, parted ways after 14 years together. Foucher cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the split. In an article written by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the senior NBA insider reported that Foucher and Westbrook disagreed on what Russ’s NBA future holds.
“In a statement to ESPN, Foucher, one of the NBA’s prominent player representatives, cited “irreconcilable differences” and suggested that there was no longer full alignment with Westbrook about whether the former MVP should want to remain with the Lakers for the final season of his $47 million contract.”
That quote alone was enough to turn Lakers fans’ heads, but the next informational nugget implied that Russ doesn’t want to play for LA next season.This offseason, Lakers head coach has repeatedly stated that Westbrook needs to adapt and succeed in a more off-ball role. Ham has said time and time again that Westbrook needs to maximize his abilities as a slasher and morph into a quality defender. The rookie head coach has noted that Russ is on board with adjusting his game next season.
However, Westbrook’s split from Foucher suggests otherwise.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Foucher advised Russ that if the Lakers do find a trade partner for his $47.1M salary, his new team could pursue a buyout.
“Now, with a possibility of a fourth trade in four years, the marketplace is telling the Lakers they must add additional value with Russell in any trade scenario. And even then, such a trade may require Russell to immediately move on from the new team via buyout.
Foucher’s points are sound. Westbrooks simply isn’t a max player anymore, and perhaps too prideful to agree to a buyout, nor accept a lesser role on the Lakers this coming season.