The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly agreed to a three-team trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz that would send D’Angelo Russell to the Lakers and Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz.
ESPN Sources: The Lakers are finalizing deal to land Minnesota’s D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in trade including Mike Conley and picks to Timberwolves and Russell Westbrook and a lightly protected 2027 LA first-round pick to Jazz.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2023
In addition to Russell, the Lakers would also reportedly receive Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt while the Timberwolves would acquire Mike Conley Jr., Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and draft picks, according to ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski. The Jazz will reportedly receive a lightly protected 2027 first-round pick from the Lakers as well as Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones.
Utah now has 15 unprotected or lightly protected first-round picks through 2029, according to Fox News.
Russell was drafted second overall by the Lakers in the 2015 NBA draft before being traded in 2017, according to ESPN. Through 54 games this season he averaged 17.9 points and 6.2 assists while shooting a career high of 46.5% from the field, 39.1% from the 3-point range, and 85.6% from the free throw line.
Westbrook, a nine-time NBA All Star and former MVP, could leave the Lakers less than two years after he was acquired via trade to help stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis compete for another title, according to ESPN. Injuries and a highly-criticized on-court fit led to the team missing the playoffs last season, as well as Westbrook being demoted to the bench for the first time in his career. He is averaging 15.9 points, 7.5 assists, and 6.2 rebounds through 52 games.
The Lakers have reportedly been trying to trade Westbrook since the past offseason, but were unable to finalize a deal, according to CBS Sports.
ESPN reported earlier Wednesday that Westbrook and Lakers head coach Darvin Ham had a “brief, heated verbal exchange” in the locker room at half time during Tuesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. (RELATED: LeBron James Becomes NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer, Surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
Westbrook is making more than $47 million this season and is likely to be bought out by the Jazz once the deal is completed, according to Bleacher Report.