The Los Angeles Lakers have been trying to trade Russell Westbrook for the entire 2022 offseason, but taking on such a massive contract is a grave undertaking for most teams. Seemingly frustrated with the lack of traction on a move elsewhere, Westbrook made an agent swap.
Westbrook fired Thad Foucher as his agent after 14 years together, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The fact this came amid speculation over his future can’t be coincidental. Westbrook has since moved on to one of the most well-known agents in the league, hiring Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management to get his career on track.
After talks with the Pacers and Mavericks stalled out, Westbrook knows that he needs a new voice in Rob Pelinka’s ear to turn up the heat. As fate would have it, many of the most well-known Schwartz clients in the league have needed to force their way out of their current situations.
Schwartz represents several of the league’s most overpaid players, including Kristaps Porzingis and Kevin Love. Kemba Walker also employs Schwartz. All three of these players have been traded away despite their contracts, meaning that Schwartz might be the best man for the job of Westbrook wants to force his way out.
Jeff Schwartz represents overpaid players like Russell Westbrook.
Porzingis has been traded twice, once as part of an ill-fated way for the Knicks to get the necessary cap space to sign Kevin Durant and once in a move that gave the Mavericks more perimeter skill. He’s currently the starting center on an iffy Wizards team.
Love worked his way out of Minnesota and got himself a ticket to a championship in Cleveland. After leaving Charlotte, Walker has moved to Boston, Oklahoma City, New York, and Detroit while being bought out twice in the process. Schwartz knows how to move albatross contracts.
As things stand right now, Westbrook is likely going to return to the Lakers despite a clear regression from both him and the team. Several possible trades, like one that would send him to Indiana for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner, have been quickly extinguished.
Westbrook’s change in representation is a sign that what has transpired in the last few years has done nothing except cause detriment to his value and reputation within the league. If Schwartz gets him to a favorable situation, he could rehabilitate that value back to a respectable level within the next few seasons.