Lakers trade Russell Westbrook in blockbuster 3-team deal: reports
Russell Westbrook is now on his fifth team in five years.
The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to send the future Hall of Fame point guard to the Utah Jazz in a three-team trade on Wednesday, according to multiple reports.
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In the reported deal, the Lakers are acquiring D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt from the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are receiving Mike Conley and three second-round picks.
The Jazz are reportedly getting Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, and Los Angeles’ protected 2027 first-round pick, while Nickeil Alexander-Walker will go to Minnesota.
Westbrook, the 2017 NBA MVP, was traded to the Lakers after spending the 2020-2021 season with the Washington Wizards – it’s the fourth time he’s been traded since 2019.
It’s likely he’s bought out by the Jazz once the deal is official.
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Russell returns to the team that drafted him second overall in 2015, one pick behind his now-former Timberwolves teammate, Karl-Anthony Towns.
Westbrook is averaging 15.9 points per game off the bench, the second-lowest mark of his career – he put up 15.3 points per contest in his rookie year in 2008-2009. The two-time scoring champ is averaging 17.4 points per game since joining the Lakers before last season. His 41.7 field goal percentage is also the second-lowest, behind his rookie season, but he is still managing to rack up 7.5 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game.
Russell is out of Minnesota after joining them in the middle of the 2019-2020 season. Since joining the Timberwolves, he is putting up 18.5 points and 6.5 assists per game. His 46.5 field goal percentage this year is a career-high.
The Lakers are in need of a hot streak as their 25-30 record has them ranked 13th in the Western Conference. However, they are still only four games out of the sixth spot, which would keep them out of the play-in tournament and push them directly into the first round of the playoffs. Minnesota is currently in ninth at 29-28.
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The trade comes just a day after Westbrook reportedly had a heated exchange with coaches in the locker room at halftime, just minutes before LeBron James became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
The trade gives Utah 15 unprotected or lightly protected first-round picks through 2029 and lots of cap space to go along with their young core.
At the start of the season, Westbrook was making more than $47 million this season as he is in his final year of a five-year, $205 million contract.