Bill Plaschke reported that he’s heard Phil Jackson wants to trade LeBron James, keep Russell Westbrook
It could always be worse, Lakers fans. Phil Jackson could have an official role with the team and could be looking to trade LeBron James while keeping Russell Westbrook.
Phil Jackson’s reintroduction into the fold with the Lakers front office was one that largely came as a surprise, but was seen as relatively harmless. Even in his advisory role and even given his…checkered past as both a front office executive and in comments about LeBron James, surely he wouldn’t campaign for something like trading LeBron and keeping Russell Westbrook.
On Wednesday, LA Times beat reporter Bill Plaschke, who only recently sat down for an hours-long one-on-one interview with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, kind-of sort-of reported that Jackson would prefer to trade LeBron and keep Westbrook during an appearance on Doug Gottlieb’s radio show.
“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 try to make that work with him.”
Ah well, this is going great.
First, it has to be noted that Plaschke is a columnist and not a beat reporter and his lack of much actual reporting would indicate that. In general, he’s not someone with a reliable track record of reporting. That being said, there are also may not be anyone more entrenched in the Los Angeles media world than Plaschke. Most of what he says should be taken with a grain (or pound) of salt, but there are reasons it could potentially be accurate.
Plaschke noted in his interview that in his discussion with Jeanie, she pushed back against the mere idea of trading LeBron, so it certainly doesn’t feel like that is a remote possibility. He also said he believes the Lakers would keep Westbrook next season and would make it a requirement for the next head coach to make it work with Westbrook, LeBron and Anthony Davis.