Former Lakers Star Expected to Be Traded This Offseason: Report

The Lakers in 2016

Getty The Lakers in 2016

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to try to trade Russell Westbrook this summer. The one-time MVP struggled during the 2021-22 season, finishing second in turnovers while recording a plus-minus of -211.

It turns out the Lakers aren’t the only team looking for a new point guard this offseason. According to Marc Stein of Substack, the Minnesota Timberwolves will look to move D’Angelo Russell, who began his career in Los Angeles.

“Numerous rival teams expect the Wolves to try to trade Russell this offseason irrespective of Russell’s close relationship with Minnesota star Karl-Anthony Towns,” Stein wrote. “Russell, 26, has one season left on his contract at $31.4 million.”

The Lakers drafted Russell with the second overall pick in the 2015 draft. The lefty averaged 14.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists with the purple and gold while shooting 40.8% from the field, 35.1% from beyond the arc and 75.9% from the free-throw line.

During the 2015-16 season, Russell filmed teammate Nick Young admitting to cheating on his fiancée, Iggy Azalea. Russell filmed the video without Young’s consent and the video got leaked to the public.

The Lakers traded Russell to the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2017. The Louisville native resurrected his career with the Nets, but he only played in Brooklyn for two years.

Russell Became All-Star with Nets, Who Traded Him to Warriors in 2019

Russell averaged 19.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists in 129 games with the Nets. He made the 2019 All-Star team and it appeared he had found an NBA home.

However, the Nets traded Russell to the Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2019 as part of the Kevin Durant sign-and-trade deal. Russell signed a four-year, $117 million contract in the process.

The 2019-20 season was a whirlwind for Russell. He played in 33 games with the Warriors before getting traded again, this time to the Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins. DLo teamed up with Karl-Anthony Towns, one of his closest friends, in Minnesota and the Timberwolves had two All-Stars to build around.

Russell has appeared in 119 games with the Timberwolves. He’s averaged 18.8 points and 6.6 assists, which are solid numbers. However, Russell struggled in the first round of the 2022 playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies and his subpar play could cost him his spot in Minnesota.

Russell Didn’t Play Well vs. Grizzlies, Got Benched in Game 6

The Timberwolves lost to the Grizzlies in six games. Russell averaged 12.0 points and 6.7 assists while shooting 33.3% from the field and 29.3% from beyond the arc and was benched in crunch time during Game 6 for Jordan McLaughlin.

During his exit interview with Timberwolves reporters, Russell said he wasn’t happy that head coach Chris Finch benched him:  “No. Not at all. Of course I want to be out there.”

Russell will be eligible to receive an extension offer from the Timberwolves when the new league year begins in July. According to ESPN’s trade machine, the Lakers and Timberwolves could agree upon a trade involving Westbrook, Russell and Malik Beasley.

Los Angeles needs a point guard who can shoot from the perimeter next to stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis and Russell fits that bill. He’s a career 35.6% shooter from beyond the arc.

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