Lakers Land Russell Westbrook In Blockbuster Trade
In a blockbuster trade, the Los Angeles Lakers have acquired All-Star Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards on Thursday. The Lakers received Westbrook in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Wizards also sent 2024 and 2028 second-round picks to the Lakers to complete the deal.
The Wizards used the first-round pick they received in the Westbrook trade to acquire point guard Aaron Holiday from the Indiana Pacers.
The Lakers were originally discussing a potential trade with the Sacramento Kings for shooting guard Buddy Hield but negotiations fell apart. However, Lakers fans are most likely happier with the deal that the team eventually completed.
“Thank you, DC! You welcomed my family and I with open arms from day one,” Westbrook wrote on Twitter. “Everyone from the front office to the training staff, the coaches, my teammates, and the fans. I’m grateful y’all took a chance on me and supported me every step of the way.”
Thank you DC! You welcomed my family and I with open arms from day one. Everyone from the front office, to the training staff, the coaches, my teammates, and the fans. I’m grateful y’all took a chance on me and supported me every step of the way. pic.twitter.com/wTvHQHPIOU
— Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) July 30, 2021
The trade gives Los Angeles a big three in LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook. Last season, the Lakers failed to defend their title after suffering a first-round exit against the Suns. It was a disappointing year for the Lakers as injuries sidelined James and Davis during different stretches of the regular season.
Last season, Westbrook was traded to the Wizards from the Houston Rockets. In his only season in Washington, he averaged 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists, although he shot just 43.9% from the floor and 31.5% from downtown.
The arrival of Westbrook gives the Lakers a playmaker after Dennis Schroder left the team. Schroder was offered the maximum extension the Lakers were eligible to offer him, but he turned it down in favor of free agency. This deal also provides Los Angeles with another star in the event of another injury to James or Davis. Time will tell how much chemistry this big three will have on the basketball court. The Lakers should be considered one of the favorites to win the championship next season.