UPDATE: The Wizards have made the trade with the Lakers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The 2024 and 2028 second picks will go to L.A. Don’t worry too much about the Wizards giving up these seconds since they can trade back (or buy their way) into the second round rather easily with any draft.
The Washington Wizards have agreed to trade Russell Westbrook, 2024 second-round pick, 2028 second-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and No. 22 tonight, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 30, 2021
The original post is below.
It looks like the Washington Wizards are going to look very different next season. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the team is near a deal to trade Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a 2021 first-round pick. However, there is still more work to be done.
There's no agreement in place and work still to do on a Westbrook/Lakers deal, but talks with Kings on a possible Hield deal had also been ongoing between two teams, sources said. https://t.co/FV78eXb1Wh— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 29, 2021
As Wojnarowski pointed out, the idea of playing home is appealing to Westbrook. However, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Westbrook also wanted to leave Washington and the Lakers were a “preferred destination.”
Just in: The Lakers and Wizards are engaged on a trade that would send Russell Westbrook to L.A., sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Westbrook wants a move elsewhere and the Lakers are his preferred destination, sources said.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 29, 2021
It would be understandable as to why Westbrook would want to leave Washington. He is from the Los Angeles area so this would be a homecoming. Also, if LeBron James’ and Anthony Davis’ health hold up, there’s a good chance Westbrook could form a “Big 3” that could get the Lakers a championship. And finally, the Wizards decided not to bring back former head coach Scott Brooks after his contract expired. Westbrook wanted to see him remain.
As for the players who would be joining the Wizards, Harrell averaged 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, mostly off the bench last season. Kuzma averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while Caldwell-Pope averaged 9.7 points per game. All three played in the vast majority of the Lakers’ games last season. Westbrook averaged 22.2 points, 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds per game for Washington.
If the Wizards were to execute this deal, I don’t see Harrell and Kuzma remaining in Washington. That’s because the team is heavily invested into Rui Hachimura who plays the same power forward position.
While it’s clear that the Wizards aren’t getting the best player in this trade in the short term, Washington will have more flexibility trading their new players, perhaps for another piece down the line. But most importantly, it’s important to see how Bradley Beal feels about it. It seems like the Wizards, for now, are still intent on keeping him and Beal still wants to stay in Washington, according to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic.
This is a trade Washington wants to make with Bradley Beal in mind, creating some salary cap flexibility for the future to add talent around him, sources tell ESPN. The idea of returning to his Los Angeles roots has been appealing to Westbrook.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 29, 2021
From what I’m hearing, Bradley Beal is opting to stay in DC.— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) July 29, 2021
This is a story that can change at a moment’s notice. We’ll update it as we know more.