Ryan West, son of legendary Lakers player and executive Jerry West, has been hired as a scout by the Detroit Pistons. The news was first reported by The Athletic’s James Edwards and was confirmed Saturday by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. West had previously spent 10 years in the Lakers’ front office, reaching as high as director of player personnel before leaving the team last summer.
West’s track record as a scout is very strong. During his tenure, the Lakers became one of the best teams in the NBA at identifying talent in the NBA Draft outside of the lottery. In his final four drafts, the Lakers landed Ivica Zubac, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Svi Mykhailiuk with picks no higher than No. 27. All four have become steady NBA rotation players since then.
But West, who came up with the Lakers under the Mitch Kupchak-Jim Buss regime, had steadily lost influence as Rob Pelinka and Kurt and Linda Rambis gained it. He left the team last summer, according to Wojnarowski, because the two sides agreed that he had hit a ceiling with the team. The front office has undergone quite a bit of shuffling in recent years, and West will now join the new Troy Weaver regime in Detroit.
Losing West will certainly hurt the Lakers’ scouting efforts, but if ever there was a time they could afford to draft poorly, it would be now. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis in place, the Lakers are built to win right now, and gave away several future picks to acquire Davis in the first place. Their focus is on acquiring veterans. Rookies are a luxury at this point. But a member of the West family has helped guide the Lakers for most of the past six decades. With Jerry now working in the Clippers’ front office, this could be viewed as the end of an era for the Lakers.