Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook and his agent are no longer working together after 14 years due to “irreconcilable differences” when it comes to the future of the nine-time All-Star’s career.
Thad Foucher, who has worked with Westbrook for the entirety of his NBA career, told ESPN that the two have parted ways as Westbrook enters the final year of a five-year contract as a member of the Lakers.
It’s been a rocky few years for Westbrook, who has played for four teams in four years, with Westbrook’s latest stop being in his hometown of Los Angeles.
“I 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-extend max contract in history,” Foucher said in a statement, according to ESPN. “I also supported Russell throughout his rise into a prominent fashion industry figure and recently orchestrated three successive trades on Russell’s behalf — culminating with the trade to his hometown Los Angeles Lakers.”
“Each time, teams gave up valuable players and assets to acquire Russell — and each time, a new organization embraced his arrival. We did it together with grace and class.”
Westbrook’s first year in a Los Angeles was a borderline disaster, with the Lakers finishing a disappointing 33-49 and missing out of the playoffs. The fit between Westbrook, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis never came together, with Westbrook averaging his lowest point totals since his second season in the league while shooting just 29.8% from three.
Throughout the offseason, Westbrook has been rumored to be on the trading block, with a Kyrie Irving for Westbrook swap being the latest trade discussed inside NBA circles.
In his statement, Foucher says that he believes the best option for Westbrook is to play out the remainder of his contract in Los Angeles under first-year head coach Darvin Ham. This belief appears to be a sticking point for Foucher, saying that a move from the Lakers would “diminish Russell’s value” in the league.
“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,” Foucher’s statement continued. “And even then, such a trade may require Russell to immediately move on from the new team via buyout.
“My belief is that this type of transaction only serves to diminish Russell’s value and his best option is to stay with the Lakers, embrace the starting role and support that Darvin Ham publicly offered. Russell is a first-ballot Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame player and will prove that again before he is retired.”
“Unfortunately, irreconcilable differences exist as to his best pathway forward and we are no longer working together. I wish Russell and his family the very best.”
In late June, Westbrook opted in to the final year of his contract which will pay him $47 million next season.