Jackson has returned to the fold as a respected voice for team owner Jeanie Buss and GM Rob Pelinka. What Jackson says is being strongly considered in a room that also includes Lakers executive Kurt Rambis.
Plaschke made hos comments about Jackson and James on The Doug Gottlieb Show.
Trading James may sound worse than it is. While James is still an excellent scorer, his ability to carry a team at 37-years old is not nearly the same as even three years ago. Also, he undoubtedly would be the player who would command the most in return, even at this stage of his career.
“Plaschke, who has covered the Lakers and L.A. sports for several decades, including when Jackson still used to coach the Lakers, did add that there is nothing ‘on the record’ to back up the claim that Jackson wants James traded,” wrote Darryn Alpert of Larry Brown Sports. “But Plaschke did also say that Jackson would like the Lakers to keep Russell Westbrook and try to make it work with him.”
Jackson has indeed been a fan of Westbrook throughout his career, and while that may still be true, the Hall of Fame coach may also realize Westbrook’s trade value is next-to-nothing at the moment.
“I’ve heard that [Jackson] would like LeBron traded,” Plaschke said, via Gottlieb’s show on Fox Sports Radio. “I’ve just heard that but I’ve got nothing to back that up. No on-the-record stuff to back that up. I do know that [Jackson] would like to keep Westbrook and try to make that work with him.”
Jackson has been out of the NBA since 2017, at least on a full-time basis, since he and the Knicks parted ways after his brief run as the top executive/GM. He owns 11 championship rings as a coach, including five with the Lakers.
It’s been reported that Jackson has a significant say in the Lakers’ current coaching search, as they look to replace Frank Vogel.