The Los Angeles Lakers have parted ways with Ryan West, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic. The move by the team’s Director of Player Personnel was confirmed by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
West, the son of Lakers legend and current Clippers consultant Jerry West, has been highly regarded around the NBA for his role in the Lakers’ numerous draft successes over the past half-decade. In particular, some of the Lakers’ hits late in the draft, such as Jordan Clarkson with the 47th overall pick, have been credited to the young executive. According to Oram, the decision to draft future All-Star D’Angelo Russell was also credited to West.
Whether the decision was made by the Lakers or by West himself is unknown. But regardless of the circumstances, the loss is a big blow for the organization that has been seeking stability in its front office since before Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak were fired from their positions. West was one of the more highly regarded members of that front office and someone the franchise could rely on in his own role.
West spent ten seasons with the Lakers. It’s not clear if he will be joining another franchise immediately after leaving the franchise.
Joey Buss, co-owner of the Lakers and President of the G-League’s South Bay Lakers, announced in June that SBL’s Nick Mazzella had been promoted to be the Lakers Director of Player Personnel, the role that West is vacating. It appears as though the Lakers knew of West’s decision to leave the franchise a month in advance.