LA Times Reporter Bill Plaschke Says Phil Jackson Wants To Trade LeBron, Keep Russell Westbrook

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  • Phil Jackson is helping Jeanie Buss and the Lakers out with offseason strategies
  • One of his suggestions appears to be trading LeBron James and keeping Russell Westbrook
  • Read more NBA news here

The Los Angeles Lakers are at a crossroads.

The storied organization is trying to figure out how to clean up the mess that was the 2021 season, where a star-studded lineup finished 16 games under .500 and missed the playoffs.

While LeBron James did his thing, the rest of the team received criticisms for their 11th placed Western Conference finish.

With management trying to decide where to go next, owner Jeanie Buss is relying on a few familiar faces for direction. Those names, maybe to Laker fans’ dismay, are former star player Magic Johnson and former coach Phil Jackson.

Johnson was an absolute disaster the last time he had any true influence on the Lakers’ future. Jackson, though, is still respected in some circles for his ability to handle star power and major personalities.

Earlier this week, a rumor began swirling that Jackson knows the move that he’d like to make ahead of the 2022 season, and it involves the biggest star on the Lakers’ roster.

Phil Jackson would like to trade LeBron James, keep Russell Westbrook

In an interview with Doug Gottlieb, LA Times reporter Bill Plaschke discussed a number of things surrounding the Lakers’ offseason. Near the 10-minute mark of the conversation, he commented on Phil Jackson’s vision of the future.

“I’ve heard that Phil would like LeBron traded. 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 Phil would like to keep Westbrook and make it work with him.”

It’s not the first time we’ve heard this opinion.

Stephen A. Smith and Mike Greenberg have both suggested that the Lakers would be better off dealing James and starting from scratch.

And it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock considering the “posse” comments that Jackson made of LeBron in the past. Many people, Jackson included, have grown tired of James’s constant meddling in management’s decision making. It’s the reason they’re stuck with Westbrook in the first place.

Plaschke reiterated this before his closing statement.

“LeBron’s a terrible general manager, and I wish he’d keep his nose out of it, but that’s not realistic. He’s going to try to pick a team again, and if you let him pick the team, you’ve got disaster.”

We’ll see if the Lakers turn LeBron James loose or if Jeanie Buss spurns Jackson’s advice.