Many speculated that Russell Westbrook would find a new team after a disastrous first season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now he’s looking for a new agent.
The Lakers point guard and his longtime agent Thad Foucher of Wasserman have split amid a contentious offseason, Foucher told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday.
Foucher has represented Westbrook since the beginning of his NBA career, beginning with his fourth overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft and through his MVP-winning tenure as Thunder and moving to the Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards and Lakers. To date, he has earned an NBA salary of $288 million, according to Spotrac.
Where Westbrook and Foucher apparently differed was in what they felt was best for Westbrook this offseason. In a lengthy statement to ESPN, Foucher said another trade would be detrimental to Westbrook’s value and his best option is to stay with the Lakers, which seems to imply Westbrook wants to leave Los Angeles.
Foucher described the situation as “irreconcilable differences”.
The Lakers likely disagree with Foucher, though new head coach Darvin Ham publicly insists he can fix the point guard. The team recently pursued a trade between Westbrook and Kyrie Irving, but that move fell through as the teams disagree on compensation. Foucher implies the Lakers have a duty to add value in order to get a team to take on Westbrook’s $47 million contract this offseason.
Here’s the statement, via ESPN.
The full testimony of Russell Westbrook’s ex-agent
“I have represented Russell Westbrook for 14 years and am proud of our partnership which included a highly successful 2008 draft, a Super Max contract and the only renegotiation and renewal Max contract in history. I’ve also supported Russell throughout his rise to fame as a fashion industry figure and recently orchestrated three consecutive trades for Russell – the highlight being the trade with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers.
“Each time teams gave up valuable players and assets to acquire Russell – and each time a new organization welcomed his arrival. We did it together with grace and class.
The story goes on
“Now, with the possibility of a fourth trade in four years, the market is telling the Lakers to add value with Russell in any trading scenario. And even then, such a trade may require Russell to exit the new team immediately via buyout.
“I believe this type of transaction is only intended to diminish Russell’s value and his best option is to stay with the Lakers, accepting the starting role and support that Darvin Ham has publicly offered. Russell is a first-ballot in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and will prove it again before he retires.
“Unfortunately, irreconcilable differences exist as to his best path forward and we are no longer working together. I wish Russell and his family the very best.”
Such a blunt statement about an ex-player is rare and shows just how weak Westbrook’s place in the NBA is right now. He saw his stats deteriorate almost across the board playing alongside LeBron James, and now no teams seem interested in him for his current salary.
Russell Westbrook mislikes tweet call agent’s Lakers statement
It wasn’t long before Foucher’s statement was released that Westbrook tweeted that read, “Has absolutely nothing to do with the Lakers situation. That is [cap].”
So Westbrook might be concerned about how his agent handled their divorce.
Screenshot of Russell Westbrook’s Twitter likes with a tweet reading “Has absolutely nothing to do with Lakers situation [cap].” (Twitter)
Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times also reported that Westbrook never requested a trade from the Lakers.
Meanwhile, Rich Paul, who is representing James and Anthony Davis and reportedly wanted Westbrook traded midway through last season, appeared to be enjoying the show.
There really isn’t a week that’s safe from Lakers news.
Russell Westbrook is looking for a new agent and probably a new team. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)