Phil Jackson favors Lakers buying and selling LeBron James, retaining Russell Westbrook, report says

Because the Lakers proceed to observe the NBA playoffs this 12 months, they’re nonetheless attempting to piece collectively what went flawed throughout their 33-49 season. Los Angeles is attempting to get again to the championship kind it displayed in 2020 with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Whereas to most it’s obvious that the Russell Westbrook experiment was an abject failure, one high-profile group guide could also be seeing it otherwise.

Los Angeles Instances columnist Invoice Plaschke mentioned Wednesday that if Phil Jackson — who is involved in the Lakers’ search to switch fired coach Frank Vogel — has his approach, Los Angeles could transfer on from James as an alternative of Westbrook.

MORE: Who will be the Lakers’ next head coach?

“I’ve heard that [Jackson] would love LeBron traded,” Plaschke mentioned, via Doug Gottlieb’s show on Fox Sports Radio. “I’ve simply heard that however I’ve bought nothing to again that up. No on-the-record stuff to again that up. I do know that [Jackson] want to hold Westbrook and attempt to make that work with him.”

This out-of-left-field thought was expressed shortly after Plaschke interviewed Lakers group proprietor Jeanie Buss for the Instances. Within the interview, Buss expressed frustration with the Lakers’ season.

She continued to face behind normal supervisor Rob Pelinka.

“When it comes to basketball choices, I’ve full confidence in our entrance workplace, which is headed by Rob Pelinka,” she advised Plaschke. “He’s an individual that’s extraordinarily good, extraordinarily strategic, every thing he does is considerate and with function.”

As for Jackson’s earlier tenure as an govt, he was employed by the Knicks as group president in 2014 to proper a wayward ship. He fired Mike Woodson and the remainder of the teaching workers and employed Derek Fisher. New York went 40-96 underneath Fisher, who was fired 54 video games into his second season. In 2017, Jackson and the Knicks mutually parted methods.

Whereas it is completely potential Plaschke’s hunch is correct, it is exhausting to think about Jackson’s attain extending past the Lakers’ teaching search. Buss is a hard-nosed proprietor. Westbrook will inevitably decide into his $47 million wage for subsequent season, which is able to make him practically untradeable. The Lakers must work round him, not rebuild round him.

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