Lakers’ Russell Westbrook parts ways with longtime agent over ‘irreconcilable differences’

Russell Westbrook is parting ways with longtime agent Thad Foucher de Wasserman over what the agent describes as “irreconcilable differences”, he told Adrian Wojnarowski. While the split of player and agent is nothing new, Foucher released a lengthy statement about his now-expired partnership with Westbrook that doesn’t exactly portray the former MVP at his best.

“I represented Russell Westbrook for 14 years and am proud of our partnership which included a very successful 2008 draft, a super-max contract and the only renegotiation and extension max contract in history. also supported Russell through his rise to a prominent figure in the fashion industry and recently orchestrated three successive trades on Russell’s behalf – culminating with the trade to his hometown Los Angeles Lakers.

“Each time teams have given up valuable players and assets to acquire Russell – and each time a new organization has welcomed his arrival. We’ve done it with grace and class.

“Now, with the possibility of a fourth trade in four years, the market is telling the Lakers that they need to add additional value with Russell in any trade scenario. And even then, such a trade may compel Russell to leave the new team immediately by buyout.

“I think this type of transaction only serves to diminish the value of Russell and his best option is to stay with the Lakers, embrace the starting role and the support that Darvin Ham has offered publicly. Russell is a player of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in the first round and will prove it once again before retiring.

“Unfortunately, irreconcilable differences exist as to his best path forward and we are no longer working together. I wish Russell and his family the best.”

If Foucher is ending his relationship with Westbrook because they disagree on the best way to move his career forward and he wants the former star point guard to stay with the Lakers, it stands to reason that Westbrook himself would prefer to leave Los Angeles. However, according to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles TimesWestbrook never asked for a trade.

Of course, it’s also worth pointing out that he doesn’t exactly need it. It’s no secret the Lakers would rather trade him, they’ve just been picky about the details of a deal. Reports said they didn’t want to tie up a first-round pick just to dump Westbrook, and so far only Kyrie Irving would have earned them a pick. Irving, a superior shooter and former teammate of James, would apparently be easier to play point guard without sacrificing the star talent the Lakers had been hoping to add to Westbrook.

At least publicly, the Lakers had given every indication that they still thought Westbrook could be that kind of star. As Foucher said, new head coach Darvin Ham has been publicly overwhelmingly supportive of Westbrook. “Make no mistake, Russell is one of the best players our league has ever seen, and there’s still a ton left in that tank,” Ham said during his introductory press conference. “I don’t know why people tend to try to write it off… Russ and I had some really, really good one-on-one conversations, and the biggest word that came out of those discussions was sacrifice. We’ We’re going to sacrifice everything we have to do, and it’s not just Russ. There’s going to be sacrifices that LeBron has to make, that AD has to make, all down the line from the rest of our roster.

Still, if you read between the lines, messages from Lakers players haven’t been so positive. James and Westbrook sadly sat on opposite sides of the arena when they both took part in the summer league last weekend. Following news of the split between Westbrook and Foucher, Rich Paul, who represents James and several other Laker players, tweeted “It’s a cold game!” From the start, the idea that the Lakers could keep Westbrook seemed like a game of leverage. This leverage effect loses its power.

Agents almost never speak publicly about their relationships with former clients. It’s usually a bad deal. Why send a message to potential future customers that you are ready to air out their dirty laundry like this? It’s hard to say at this point who benefits from this statement and how it will affect Westbrook’s future. That can’t exactly make it harder to trade because, well, nobody wants it the way it is. This could perhaps give the Lakers a renewed sense of urgency. If Westbrook wants to leave Los Angeles enough to part ways with an agent who thinks he should stay there, maybe that sends a message to the Lakers that keeping him would be foolish.

This is just speculation at this point. The circumstances here are pretty unprecedented, but so is much of what happened to the Lakers last season. For now, the goal remains the same. In a perfect world, the Lakers could trade Westbrook and draft picks for Irving. But if this forces them to widen their net in possible transactions? It couldn’t hurt them. If even Westbrook’s agent can no longer work with him, there’s little reason to believe the Lakers want him.

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