Nothing has gone according to plan for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2021-22 NBA season. The front office thought they were building a title-contending roster last summer, yet the team has not even made the play-in tournament.
Part of the blame fell on Frank Vogel, who was fired as soon as the regular season came to an end, but of course, not everything was his fault. For instance, he was not responsible for Russell Westbrook's disappointing performances.
The 2017 NBA MVP has fallen incredibly short of expectations with the Purple and Gold, who seem to regret acquiring Brodie from the Wizards last year. Even though they're expected to find him a new home this offseason, the Lakers would first listen to the advice of Phil Jackson.
NBA Trade Rumors: Phil Jackson may influence the Lakers' decision about Russell Westbrook
Sam Amick of The Athletic reports that, even though he's not a candidate for the head coaching opening, Phil Jackson's opinion matters for the Lakers executives. This offseason could be crucial for the franchise, which is why his expertise is highly appreciated.
While Jackson is not in the run for the Lakers' post, he is reportedly involved in the decision-making process to hire a new head coach. On top of that, the front office would also listen his opinion about Russell Westbrook.
"Sources say Jackson has no interest in taking on this coaching job (or any other) himself — let’s just stop that rumor right here — but his view of Westbrook is relevant," Amick wrote.
The Lakers seem to be at a crossroads. While Westbrook's complicated season - both on and off the court - would normally cost him a place in a Lakers team, his massive contract doesn't make his departure any easy. Either way, Jackson may have a say in all of this.