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Russell Westbrook Traded In Three Team Blockbuster

Russell Westbrook
(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Russell Westbrook Has Been Traded To Minnesota

Russell Westbrook is out of Los Angeles! The Lakers, Jazz, and Timberwolves have pulled off a three-team whopper which also includes a D’Angelo Russell homecoming. LA is also parting ways with their 2027 first round pick (Top 4 protected). Adrian Wojnarowski has all of the details below:

The headline of the deal is obviously ending Westbrook’s tumultuous year-and-a-half in Los Angeles. The 2017 MVP was expected to complete a Lakers big three alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but things quickly went sideways. They missed the playoffs entirely last year and face an uphill battle for a play-in spot. Now, he’s gonna have to redeem himself in a Jazz uniform. In his place comes D’Angelo Russell, a former #2 pick of the Lakers in 2015. The former All-Star should bring much needed shooting and secondary ball handling. More shooting will come in the form of Malik Beasley, a career 38% shooter from deep and Jarred Vanderbilt, a young power forward with some upside on both ends.

Who Wins?

This may not have been the type of help Lakers fans were expecting. But it definitely makes them better in all honesty. DLo is shooting a career-high 39% from three this season, and should provide some offensive help when LeBron and AD are on the bench. The deal really shakes up their rotation. James, Davis, and Russell will shoulder the load. This is the second deadline deal Rob Pelinka has made alongside picking up Rui Hachimura. Hachimura, Beasley, Lonnie Walker, Thomas Bryant, Patrick Beverly, Austin Reaves, and Vanderbilt seem set to fill out the rest of Darvin Ham’s crew.

Utah shouldn’t be too upset with this. They’ll be out of Westbrook’s deal by the end of the season and he could even help as they push for a playoff spot. Danny Ainge grabs another first round pick for his treasure trove. As well, he will be able to give Lauri Markkanen a nice raise following this season. Damian Jones and Juan-Toscano Anderson could even potentially fit into the rotation. The Jazz are still in pretty good shape for at least a play-in run.

The Wolves here are basically brokering the deal. They get Mike Conley to replace DLo and an intriguing young piece in Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Furthermore, they even picked up three second-round picks for doing business. Having a less ball-dominant guard like Conley could even help Anthony Edwards and Karl Anthony-Towns hit their stride.

Trade Season Is Heating Up!

LeBron James has shown in the past that he is able to make it work with almost anyone. Is Russell Westbrook the first exemption to that? Call me crazy but I am getting crazy 2018 vibes from this deal. The Cavs just threw Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance into the mix. Obviously, this team has much more high-profile support like Davis and Russell. They’re two games out of the 10 spot and four out of the six spot. There’s still a whole third of the season to play so get your popcorn ready everyone.

We’re not done yet folks. There’s bound to be more deals done between now and 3 PM tomorrow. Keep it posted here for the latest in the NBA trade deadline.

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