NBA

Wizards reportedly trade Westbrook to Lakers in draft-night deal

By Sports Desk July 29, 2021

The Los Angeles Lakers are set to add another former MVP, as several media outlets reported they will acquire Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards in a draft-night blockbuster. 

In return for Westbrook and second-round picks in 2024 and 2028, the Lakers reportedly are sending Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the 22nd overall pick in Thursday's draft to Washington. 

While the deal cannot be officially completed until August 6, when the salary cap for next season is set, commissioner Adam Silver announced the portion involving the draft pick from the podium on Thursday. 

With the 22nd pick that was part of the trade, the Lakers selected Isaiah Jackson from Kentucky and sent him to Indiana as part of a separate deal between the Indiana Pacers and Wizards that reportedly will net Washington Aaron Holiday and the number 31 pick.

But Los Angeles native and former UCLA star Westbrook was the man everyone was talking about on Thursday. 

After one season with Washington, Westbrook will head west to join LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers as they try to bounce back from a first-round playoff loss a year after winning the NBA title. 

The move will cost LA, who will owe their new star trio a combined $121million next season. 

But the Lakers will be hoping for big things from the nine-time All-Star Westbrook, who was the league's MVP in 2016-17 while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder and turns 33 in November. 

Westbrook averaged 22.2 points and a career-high 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds in 65 regular-season games last season, recording triple-doubles in 38 of them.

Along the way, he broke Oscar Robertson's long-standing record of 181 career triple-doubles, finishing the season with 184. 

From Washington's perspective, moving on from Westbrook frees up money to keep Bradley Beal as the team's centerpiece moving forward as he enters the final year of his contract. 

The Wizards also added some supporting pieces in the deal, as Harrell averaged 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Lakers last season, while Kuzma contributed 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds and Caldwell-Pope 9.7 points. 

 

 

 

Related items

  • Lakers podcaster backs extension for 'GOAT' LeBron James Lakers podcaster backs extension for 'GOAT' LeBron James

    The Los Angeles Lakers have tied down the immediate future of the greatest player of all time in LeBron James, according to Lakers podcaster Anthony Irwin.

    James has agreed a two-year contract extension with the Lakers worth a whopping $97.1million, it was reported by ESPN on Wednesday, citing Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul.

    The 37-year-old had been entering the final year of a contract worth $44.5m. His new deal apparently includes a player option for the 2024-25 season.

    Last season, James played 56 games overall, averaging 30.3 points per game, only the second time he has averaged over 30 in a single campaign (31.4 PPG for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2005-06). 

    He averaged 8.2 rebounds per game, 6.2 assists and hit a career-high season average of 2.9 three-pointers and 8.0 attempts per game.

    James also became the first player in NBA history to record more than 10,000 career points, rebounds and assists.

    Speaking to Stats Perform, Irwin said he lists James ahead of Michael Jordan and former Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar when it comes to judging the best player of all time.

    "I have him as the greatest ever, in my book," he said. "Now, we're splitting hairs anytime you're talking about him and Michael and Kareem, who for some reason is never like involved in the conversation in ways that I think he should be.

    "The league is more competitive I think now than it was when Michael was playing. I think you have to take that into account.

    "If you have Michael as your GOAT (greatest of all time)? Cool. If you have LeBron as your GOAT? Cool. If you have Kareem is your GOAT? Super cool, because I would love to hear the people who make that case.

    "Anybody who tries to act as if those three guys don't have a case to be made, those are the people that I find myself rolling my eyes at."

    Irwin – who hosts Lakers podcasts on Silver Screen and Roll – was pleased with the reported agreement between the organisation and James, believing it could make things easier for the Lakers as they look to move Russell Westbrook on.

    "It's good that all parties came to the conclusion that they couldn't have this loom over the season or training camp," Irwin added. "I think if LeBron was going to continue his relationship with the Lakers, they had to either announce an exit strategy or announce an extension. Fortunately, they came to the latter decision.

    "The other part of this that I find interesting is obviously everybody knows they've been trying to trade Russell Westbrook.

    "One source of leverage that other teams might have had on the Lakers as they tried to do that was 'You have to trade Russell Westbrook, you have to appease Lebron James. Otherwise, he's not going to sign that extension.' And you have that awkward relationship carrying forward into the season.

    "Now, that's not something that other teams have. So this helps the Lakers, I think, accomplish their goal of not just moving Westbrook but not overpaying to do so. And hopefully bringing some legitimate help back in return."

  • Physically, I feel good - Kawhi Leonard shares update as Clippers step up NBA season preparations Physically, I feel good - Kawhi Leonard shares update as Clippers step up NBA season preparations

    Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard says he feels good as he closes in on his long-awaited return from injury ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season.

    The two-time NBA Finals MVP missed the entire of the last campaign due to an ACL injury sustained in game four of the 2021 Western Conference Semi-Finals against the Utah Jazz. 

    The Clippers certainly felt Leonard's absence as they missed out on the play-offs, losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans in the play-in tournament.

    The small forward averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and a career-high 5.2 assists per game in the 2020-21 regular season, having averaged a personal best of 27.1 points the previous term - his first with the Clippers.

    In a compilation video posted on the franchise's social media channels, which featured several clips of him in the gym, Leonard could be heard saying: "Physically, I feel good."

    The 31-year-old will hope to make his return when the Clippers launch their 2022-23 campaign against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 20.

  • LeBron James signs two-year contract extension with Los Angeles Lakers worth $97.1m LeBron James signs two-year contract extension with Los Angeles Lakers worth $97.1m

    LeBron James has agreed a two-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers worth a whopping $97.1million.

    James, 37, had been entering the final year of a contract worth $44.5m. His new deal, as reported by ESPN, includes a player option for the 2024-25 season.

    The NBA great missed the Lakers' final two games of the 2021-22 season after suffering a sprained ankle, although he did enjoy the second-most productive campaign of his storied career in terms of points per game.

    He played 56 games overall, averaging 30.3 points per game, only the second time he has averaged over 30 in a season (31.4 PPG for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2005-06). 

     

    James averaged 8.2 rebounds per game, 6.2 assists and brought three-pointers into his arsenal more than ever, hitting a career-high season average of 2.9 successes and 8.0 attempts per game.

    He also became the first player in NBA history to record more than 10,000 career points, rebounds and assists.

    During career, James has won four NBA titles with three different teams – the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Lakers.

    In each of his championship-winning seasons, James was voted as Finals MVP, while he is also a four-time regular-season MVP, and an 18-time All Star.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.