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2021 NBA Draft: Wizards trade Russell Westbrook and future second round picks to the Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 overall pick

Looks like the Wizards are rebuilding now in some form. I don’t Like to use the word retool.

Los Angeles Lakers v Washington Wizards
Russell Westbrook’s time in D.C. is about to come to an end.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

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 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.

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.”

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 story that can change at a moment’s notice. We’ll update it as we know more.