And… we’re off.
With the 2023 NBA trade deadline set for Thursday, Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. ET, the Lakers were pressing to get a deal done to improve their roster and they just took a big swing.
Los Angeles is sitting in at 25-30 heading into the trade deadline, two games back from the Play-In Tournament and four games back from a top-six seed in the West. In an attempt to avoid missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season, the Lakers have made a move to add some depth around LeBron James and Anthony Davis for a postseason push with 27 games remaining.
Los Angeles had been flirting with the idea of trading star guard Russell Westbrook for two seasons now and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it has reportedly found a deal, working a three-team trade with the Timberwolves and Jazz.
Where did Westbrook end up and who did the Lakers receive in return for the nine-time All-Star? The Sporting News has you covered on trade details below.
Russell Westbrook trade details: Lakers land D’Angelo Russell in three-team deal
- Lakers receive: D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley
- Jazz receive: Russell Westbrook, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick (1-4 protected)
- Timberwolves receive: Mike Conley Jr., Nickeil Alexander-Walker, 2024 second-round pick swap (via WAS-MEM), 2025 and 2026 second-round picks (both via UTA)
Why the Lakers make this trade
After missing out on Kyrie Irving, the Lakers were desperate to add rotation depth around James and Davis. A Westbrook trade has been rumored for two years now, and Los Angeles finally found a team to take on his $47.1 million expiring contract.
In Russell, Vanderbilt and Beasley, the Lakers landed three rotation players for Westbrook and a 2027 first-round pick (Nos. 1-4 protected).
Russell is a playmaking scorer — averaging 17.9 points and 6.2 assists per game — whose perimeter shooting makes him a much better fit next to James and Davis. Beasley is a career 38.0 percent 3-point shooter, giving Los Angeles another much-needed floor spacer. Vanderbilt is a jack-of-all-trades-type player, capable of defending multiple positions, rebounding at a high level and scoring off of cuts — an offensive skill that will thrive next to LeBron.
Why the Jazz make this trade
Even though the Jazz have been competitive this season, their focus is on building for the future. It has already been reported that Westbrook would be bought out by Utah, and his contract will be off the books after this season.
Along with young players on expiring deals like Toscano-Anderson and Jones, the Jazz add another valuable first-round pick to their growing treasure chest of draft assets.
Why the Timberwolves make this trade
The Timberwolves land a much-needed veteran presence in Conley, a steady playmaker who is averaging 10.7 points and 7.7 assists per game. They also get a 24-year-old prospect in Alexander-Walker, who was the 17th overall pick in 2019, and three future second-round picks.
In the process, they avoid losing Russell for nothing in unrestricted free agency this offseason.
Russell Westbrook contract details
All contract details are via Spotrac.
Westbrook is in the last year of his contract, earning $47.1 million this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
|Russell Westbrook’s salary||$47.1 million||UFA|
D’Angelo Russell contract details
Russell is in the last year of his contract, earning $31.4 million this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
|D’Angelo Russell’s salary||$31.4 million||UFA|
Mike Conley Jr. contract details
Conley will be paid $22.7 million this season and has a partially guaranteed deal of $24.4 million for the 2023-24 season. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2024.
|Mike Conley Jr.’s salary||$22.7 million||$24.4 million (Part-GTD)||UFA|