Lakers News: LeBron James & Rich Paul React To News About Russell Westbrook Parting Ways With Long-Time Agent
Rich Paul LeBron James Lakers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook’s future with the Los Angeles Lakers already started to look bleak early in the 2021-22 season. But the transfer saga dragged on and has just taken another surprising turn amid the reports of the 2017 NBA MVP’s split from his long-time agent, Thad Foucher of Wasserman.

Foucher served as Westbrook’s agent for 14 years and negotiated his max rookie contract extension and as well as the five-year, $206.8 million supermax deal that is set to expire after the 2022-23 season. “Unfortunately, irreconcilable differences exist as to his best pathway forward and we are no longer working together,” the agent said in a statement.

LeBron James and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, seemed to have shared a telling reaction to the news on Twitter:

The reaction comes after an awkward situation between James and Westbrook during the Las Vegas Summer League. The two Lakers stars sat on the opposite sides of the court during L.A.’s loss to the Phoenix Suns. Also, Westbrook didn’t come for a chat with James at halftime as the only Purple and Gold player who attended the game.

In his statement, Foucher said he thought Westbrook should stay with the Lakers and embrace a starting role under new head coach Darvin Ham. But if the 33-year-old guard and the agent had differing views on what would be the best way moving forward, that would suggest Westbrook prefers to be traded to another team.

It’s believed James has been pushing to Lakers to acquire Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving in exchange for Westbrook.

Spurs looking for unprotected first-round pick to take Westbrook in the Irving trade

Latest reports claim there’s still optimism the Lakers and the Nets can find a way to send Irving to L.A. However, that will likely need a third team to get involved in the trade — with the San Antonio Spurs looking to be the main candidate to engage in negotiations.

The Spurs are believed to be willing to absorb Westbrook’s gigantic $47.1 million salary — allowing the Lakers to bring in Irving — if they can get a first-round pick from L.A.

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