Los Angeles Lakers star point guard Russell Westbrook has been involved in trade rumors constantly over his tenure in Los Angeles. Those rumors finally came to fruition Wednesday in a huge three-team trade that will have huge ramifications for multiple teams.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers, Utah Jazz, and Minnesota Timberwolves are finalizing a trade that will send D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt to Los Angeles. The Jazz will receive Russell Westbrook and a Lakers first-round pick, while the Timberwolves will receive Mike Conley and a second-round pick.
Lakers, Jazz and Timberwolves are finalizing trade sending D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt to Los Angeles, Russell Westbrook and first-round pick to Utah and Mike Conley Jr. and second-round pick compensation to Minnesota, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 9, 2023
Many around the NBA world are extremely happy to see that Westbrook’s rocky tenure in Los Angeles is over.
When Russell Westbrook finally gets traded🙏 pic.twitter.com/SjtaLYxGrh
— The Game Day NBA (@TheGameDayNBA) February 9, 2023
Acquiring Russell Westbrook is one of the biggest mistakes in the history of the Lakers. Dumping him with a protected first for this haul of three players might just save their season.
Jarred Vanderbilt provides excellent defensive versatility, connective passing, and solid… https://t.co/ZEzZDRh94g
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) February 9, 2023
The Lakers added switchable wing defenders, some shooting and got younger. All while parting ways with Russell Westbrook, whose fit with the franchise never coalesced. With 27 games left in the regular season, LAL is four games out of the No. 6 seed and is 1-2 so far since making… https://t.co/6njCH8sdxD
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 9, 2023
I don’t think that Russell Westbrook was a great fit for the lakers but I don’t like that he was covered at different points by the national media especially. I’m rooting for him at his next stop.
— Esau McCaulley, Ph.D (@esaumccaulley) February 9, 2023
Lakers fans now that the Russell Westbrook era is over pic.twitter.com/IBmVAr9SU4
— Khaled Abdallah (@khaled74) February 9, 2023
For the time being, he will be headed to Utah, but there appears to be a high chance that Westbrook may potentially be bought out by the organization.
Commence the Russell Westbrook buyout watch.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) February 9, 2023
Meanwhile, the Lakers bring back Russell, who played for the organization for two seasons after initially being drafted No.2 overall by them in the 2015 NBA Draft. His tenure in Los Angeles ended prematurely after his infamous snitching incident involving former NBA player Nick Young.
Westbrook’s fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles was never comfortable for anyone involved. Russell is a much more efficient shooter who could be a great floor spacer for the Lakers moving forward.
Los Angeles currently sits at just 25-30 on the outside of the playoff picture of the Western Conference. This trade seems like it was a last-ditch effort for the organization to turn things around and make a potential playoff push in the second half of the NBA season.