Klutch is headed by agent Rich Paul, one of the most powerful men in the NBA, with Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis among his clients. Both James and Davis pushed for the Lakers to acquire Westbrook from the Wizards last summer.
But Westbrook in LA failed to live up to expectations, as he proved to be a clunky fit and the Lakers failed to qualify for the postseason. Some have called them The Most Disappointing Team in NBA History.
And if not the entire history of the league, at least the most disappointing this year.
It was Klutch, it seems, that pressured the Lakers to go after Westbrook instead of a sign-and-trade for guard DeMar DeRozan (then of Spurs, now with Bulls) or a regular deal for guard Buddy Hield (then with Kings, now of Pacers).
Still, the final say came down to GM Rob Pelinka and the front office, and as Pincus wrote, the Lakers’ blaming Klutch for acquiring Westbrook could be considered an “epic level of passing the buck.”
Pincus added: “An NBA team should consider its stars’ wishes but ultimately make the best decision for the team.”
The Lakers tried to move Westbrook at the trade deadline, clearly to avail, and are expected to try again this offseason. Also, as we relayed a few weeks back, James is eligible for a contract extension. He is not expected to agree to one at this stage of the offseason, though that could change as summer advances.