Lakers Rumors: Russell Westbrook Considering Signing with Excel Sports Management

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 19, 2022

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 05: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on April 05, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, 
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Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook is reportedly "strongly considering" signing with Excel Sports Management, according to Quinton Mayo of Bet MGM.

Westbrook parted with longtime agent Thad Foucher of Wasserman last week as a result of what Foucher called "irreconcilable differences," per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The two had worked together since Westbrook entered the 2008 NBA draft out of UCLA.

"I represented Russell Westbrook for 14 years and am proud of our partnership which included a highly successful 2008 draft, a supermax contract and the only renegotiation-and-extend max contract in history," the agent said.

Foucher said he recommended Westbrook remain with the Lakers throughout the season, but the two disagreed on the best path forward.

Westbrook opted into the final year of his contract with Los Angeles and has not requested a trade, per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. There is still uncertainty about his future after the team's disappointing 33-49 campaign.

With potential trades and buyouts on the horizon before Westbrook hits free agency next season, the choice of agent becomes an important one for the 33-year-old.

Excel Sports Management is one of the most prominent agencies in the NBA, with Jeff Schwartz the top-ranked agent in salaries negotiated at over $468 million, per HoopsHype. His client list includes Nikola Jokic, who just signed the largest contract in NBA history with the Denver Nuggets, as well as CJ McCollum, Khris Middleton, Brandon Ingram and Tyler Herro.

Westbrook is looking to reestablish himself as one of the game's elite players after earning nine All-Star selections and one MVP award across 14 NBA seasons. The guard finished last year averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game.