Lakers Reportedly Trade Russell Westbrook To Jazz In Three-Team Swap

Russell Westbrook's time with LeBron James is over


February 8

The Los Angeles Lakers made a big splash ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline and as a result, the Russell Westbrook era in LA has officially run its course.

As part of a three-team trade, which was rumored ahead of time, the Lakers on Wednesday sent Westbrook to the Utah Jazz while the Minnesota Timberwolves dealt D’Angelo Russell to Los Angeles along with Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Also involved in the trade were Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who will both join the Timberwolves, while the Jazz acquired Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones as well.

Draft picks were also included as the Timberwolves will receive a 2024 second-rounder, the lesser of a Washington Wizards-Memphis Grizzlies selection, plus a 2025 and 2026 pick from the Jazz.

Westbrook, who for the most part, struggled mightily and became the target of negative media attention, was never the fit Los Angeles needed in order to assemble a convincing NBA Finals push. Despite an early Sixth Man of the Year campaign, the 34-year-old was never entrusted as Darvin Ham’s go-to guard, which led to Westbrook’s unfamiliar demotion to the Lakers bench.

In 52 games and just three starts this season, Westbrook is averaging 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists while shooting 41.% from the field and 29.6% from 3-point range. However, Westbrook is unlikely to take the floor in a Jazz uniform, according to Chris Haynes of Turner Sports, who reported that a buyout between both sides is the “likely path.” That would allow Westbrook to freely sign elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the Lakers (25-30) desperately need a momentum boost in order to revitalize their playoff hopes. As of Thursday, Los Angeles is just two games behind a Western Conference playoff spot.

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