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Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook signed with a new agent weeks after a 14-year separation from his agent due to “irreconcilable differences”.
Westbrook signed Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports on Monday, according to ESPN.
It has been an off-season of great uncertainty for Westbrook, whose name has been the subject of numerous trade offers following a disastrous first season as a player. member of the Lakers.
At the end of June, Westbrook agreed to his player option for $47.1 million, the final year of his five-year, $206 million contract. Shortly after the news, Thad Fouche, who had worked with Westbrook throughout his NBA career, announced that they were no longer working together.
In a statement to ESPN announcing the split, Fouche said he thought the best option for Westbrook’s promotion would be for the nine-time All-Star to finish the final season of his contract in Los Angeles. An offer that seemed to go against Westbrook’s preferences.
“Now that a fourth trade in four years is possible, the market is telling the Lakers they must add value to Russell in any trade scenario,” Fouche said in a statement. “Even so, such an exchange could require Russell to leave the new team immediately through a buyout.
“I believe that this type of deal only reduces the value of Russell and his best option is to stay with the Lakers, accept the starting role and support that Darwin Ham has publicly offered. Russell is Naismith’s first Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. and prove it one more time before he retires.”
“Unfortunately, there are irreconcilable differences regarding his best path forward and we no longer work together. I wish Russell and his family all the best.”
Westbrook first year in Los Angeles did not go as planned, with the Lakers going 33–49 and missing out on the playoffs. Fits between LeBron JamesAnthony Davis and Westbrook never materialized, and Westbrook averaged the lowest points per game since his second season in the league.
In June, the Lakers hired a new head coach, Darwin Ham. Ham has been an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks since the 2018 season.