Rich Paul says Klutch wasn’t pushing for Russell Westbrook trade

By Monday morning, Paul had spoken to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, with the latter of whom saying on “First Take” that the super agent wanted to deny one specific part of that report (emphasis mine): “Rich Paul called me yesterday and asked me to quote him on this story about him, and Klutch Sports, and essentially them wanting the Lakers to trade Russell Westbrook and a first-round pick to Houston for John Wall. He wanted me to state emphatically that there was absolutely, positively no truth to that whatsoever. He never did that. He did not do that. The people who wrote the story never contacted him to get any kind of perspective from him on that. “It is an absolute lie, and he said ‘could you please do me a favor and quote me and tell the world that I specifically said that’s a damn lie. There is no truth. It never happened.’ Just for what it’s worth, that’s what Rich Paul says about these stories that have been put out there. Fair enough. So I quoted him.”
Source: Harrison Faigen @

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Brandon Rahbar @BrandonRahbar
Russell Westbrook’s spot on the NBA 75 Team being questioned cause his age 33 season instead of remembering his prime?
1 Finals
4 WCFs
11 playoffs
9 All-Stars
9 All-NBA Teams
2 scoring titles
3 assist titles
4 triple double seasons
Westbrook’s placement is indisputable. – 9:05 PM

Damichael Cole @DamichaelC
Chris Paul compared Ja Morant’s explosiveness to Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.
“Not too many guys got it like Ja.” PM

More on this storyline

In the wake of the Lakers not executing a transaction before last week’s NBA trade deadline, ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne reported that the Lakers trio of Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James will likely being playing together again next year. “I’ve even heard this phrasing of this is probably going to be the roster next year too. A lot of the minimum contract guys will change, but I think this is what they got.” -via Apple Podcasts / February 19, 2022

It was previously reported that Houston wanted the Lakers 2027 first-round pick in exchange for taking on Westbrook’s contract. ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne reported on an episode of the Hoop Collective that was not the case at the deadline. “The way I heard it was, it could’ve been done for a first round pick, but then, it was even suggested they could have done it for a pick swap. I don’t know the details of what that swap would be like or how it would even work.” -via Sports Illustrated / February 16, 2022

The Lakers were resistant to offering their 2027 first-round pick — the only one they can offer — in trade talks, including as the carrot in a potential exchange of John Wall and Russell Westbrook, sources say. A deal I’d have pitched: Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker and that 2027 first-rounder for Wall and Eric Gordon. Does that change your life? Maybe not. But LeBron is 37, and this team looks broken. Maybe a better deal will come along in the offseason. -via ESPN / February 11, 2022