NBA Rumors: Lakers Front Office Has Scapegoat For Westbrook Acquisition

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to feel the fallout from the disastrous Russell Westbrook trade that seemingly tanked their season. According to NBA Insider Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, it appears the front office is looking for a scapegoat for the whole debacle, and has found one.

"Multiple sources indicate the team's front office is internally blaming pressure from Klutch Sports Group (who represent both LeBron James and Anthony Davis) for (trading for) Westbrook," wrote Pincus. Rich Paul and Klutch, the same agency involved in the Ben Simmons fiasco this season, had already has their share of bad press this year. 

It's widely regarded that James and Davis had met with Westbrook in the summer, and decided they wanted him brought in to form a "Big 3". When this request was taken to management, Rob Pelinka arranged a trade to send much of the Lakers' depth to the Washington Wizards in return for Westbrook. Gone were Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, plus their 2021 first-round draft pick. 

But what purpose does it serve to leak this out at this time? 

It's obvious that LeBron's wishes influenced the decision to make the trade, but as Pincus writes, "that may be an epic level of passing the buck." James is not the GM, and ultimately Pelinka has to take the bullet on this one. 

Without a contract extension this summer, LeBron becomes a free agent after next season, and his future beyond that is up in the air, despite his claims that he wants to remain a Laker. He has also said that he wants to finish his career playing on the same team as his son, Bronny, who's eligible for the 2024 Draft. 

It will indeed be an interesting summer in La-La Land.

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