The Los Angeles Lakers Have Traded Russell Westbrook
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
— 9 February 2023

The Los Angeles Lakers Have Traded Russell Westbrook

— 9 February 2023

Despite paying him US$47 million (AU $67.6 million) this season, the second-highest in the entire NBA behind Steph Curry, the Los Angeles Lakers pretty clearly didn’t want to be in the Russell Westbrook business anymore. The fit alongside Anthony Davis and LeBron James was questionable from the very beginning, but after missing the play-in tournament last season and getting off to a slow start this year, it was probably time for everyone to move on. With that, the Lakers have now finalised a three-team trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Utah Jazz that will officially conclude Russell Westbrook’s season-and-a-half-long tenure with the team (via ESPN).

The trade comes less than 24 hours after LeBron James made history by becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. During this game, Russell Westbrook and Lakers head coach Darvin Ham reportedly had “a brief, heated verbal exchange” after the former was slow to walk off the floor when he was subbed out late in the second quarter. Westbrook’s playing minutes, as well as his role coming off the bench, has been a major talking point for the team these past two seasons.

Russell Westbrook was the betting odds favourite to take home the Sixth Man of the Year this season, averaging 17.9 points and 6.2 assists on 46.5% shooting from the field. The Utah Jazz, however, are reportedly looking to buyout Westbrook’s contract, rather than put him to work. This might not be the last we’ve seen of Westbrook, though. According to ESPN’s Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Miami Heat have all shown interest in signing Russell Westbrook from the buyout market.

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For the Los Angeles Lakers, this trade has brought them three solid NBA players in exchange for a protected first-round pick, Russell Westbrook, and two guys that weren’t even currently in their rotation. It marks a reunion with D’Angelo Russell (D’Lo/D’Loading), a talented young point guard they drafted back in 2015 and traded to the Nets in 2017 for reasons involving Snapchat and Iggy Azalea. Not even kidding.

Here are the full details of the trade:

Lakers Receive:
D’Angelo Russell
Malik Beasley
Jarred Vanderbilt

Jazz Receive:
Russell Westbrook
2027 Lakers first-round pick (protected 1-4)
Juan Toscano-Anderson
Damian Jones

Timberwolves Receive:
Mike Conley Jr
Nickeil Alexander-Walker
2025 Jazz second-round pick
2026 Jazz second-round pick
2024 second-round pick (lesser of Washington-Memphis)

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