As has been reported by several outlets since last August, Klutch clients LeBron James and Anthony Davis played a part in recruiting Westbrook, helping convince the Lakers to go after the former MVP instead of trying to sign-and-trade for DeMar DeRozan or acquire Buddy Hield from Sacramento.
Still, while James, Davis, and their agency may have had a hand in the Westbrook trade, VP of basketball operations Rob Pelinka and the rest of the Lakers’ front office ultimately had the final say. Pincus, who suggests that assigning the blame to Klutch Sports “may be an epic level of passing the buck,” writes that NBA front offices should consider their stars’ input but that the top basketball executives are responsible for making the decisions they feel are best for the team.
Here’s more on the Lakers:
- While retirement is a possibility, most people around the NBA expect Carmelo Anthony to play for at least one more season, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, who spoke to multiple league executives about Anthony’s upcoming free agency. Deveney gets the sense that a return to the Lakers is the most likely outcome, but his sources mentioned the Nets, Heat, and Celtics as other potential landing spots.
- In a pair of stories for The Athletic, Jovan Buha hands out grades for all of the Lakers’ players this season and explores which players should – and shouldn’t – be back for 2022/23. Buha identifies Austin Reaves, Stanley Johnson, and Wenyen Gabriel as the non-stars who should return, and suggests the team shouldn’t retain Westbrook, Avery Bradley, Wayne Ellington, or Kent Bazemore.
- Buha also published a two-part mailbag at The Athletic, discussing the Lakers’ head coaching search, possible mid-level free agent targets, potential Westbrook trade scenarios, and whether it makes sense for the club to trade its 2027 and 2029 first-rounders.