A three-way trade between the Jazz, Lakers and Timberwolves appears to be complete, with LA finally parting ways with guard Russell Westbrook, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The deal will send Minnesota guard D’Angelo Russell to Los Angeles, along with Utah shooting guard Malik Beasley and power forward Jarred Vanderbilt. The Timberwolves will acquire point guard Mike Conley and draft assets, while the Jazz will receive Westbrook and a 2027 first-round pick from the Lakers. That pick is top-four protected, Wojnarowski noted.
Along with all that, the Jazz will acquire guard/forward Juan Toscano-Anderson and center Damian Jones, and Minnesota will receive guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, per Wojnarowski. The Timberwolves also will receive the less favorable Wizards-Grizzlies second-round pick in 2024 and Utah’s second-round picks in 2025 and 2026.
Westbrook is expected to agree to a contract buyout with the Jazz, that will immediately make him a free agent (48 hours after clearing waivers). Per Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report/TNT, the Bulls and Clippers would be interested in Westbrook in the event of a buyout with the Jazz.
Westbrook, 34, is averaging 15.9 points in 52 games, coming off the bench in all but three. His scoring average is the lowest since his rookie season of 2008-09. His time with the Lakers was rocky from the start, as he never fit in alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, or even after the Lakers switched coaches from Frank Vogel to Darvin Ham after the season.
Per Wojnarowski, Westbrook and Ham exchanged angry words at halftime of the Lakers’ loss to the Thunder on Tuesday — which will now serve as Westbrook’s final game in LA.
Interestingly, that game was also the night James set the all-time NBA scoring record.
The Lakers-Westbrook situation had become untenable over the past week or so, multiple team and league sources close to the situation told @TheAthletic. Both sides were ready to move on from a partnership that never really made sense to begin with: https://t.co/YfLVQ1VTwX
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) February 9, 2023
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