Lakers in Talks to Trade Russell Westbrook for $117 Million All-Star & $60 Million Star: Report

Russell Westbrook

Getty Russell Westbrook

The Los Angeles Lakers may finally end the Russell Westbrook era.

According to multiple reports, most notably ESPN and The Athletic, the Lakers are in talks to trade Westbrook and draft picks to the Utah Jazz. Los Angeles would get D’Angelo Russell from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt from the Jazz. Minnesota, meanwhile, would acquire Mike Conley from Utah.

Russell, who began his career with the Lakers in 2015, is on an expiring contract. He signed a four-year, $117 million deal in July 2019. The lefty is making $31.4 million this season. Russell has played for the Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors and Timberwolves.

Meanwhile, Beasley has a club option for next season worth $16.5 million, while Vanderbilt has one year left on his contract after this campaign. Beasley, who signed a four-year, $60 million contract in November 2020, is making $15.5 million this season and Vanderbilt is making $4.3 million.

Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report reported that the Jazz will likely buy out Westbrook, who becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Once he gets waived and clears waivers, Westbrook, 34, will be free to sign with any team of his choice.

This Could Be a Good Trade for the Lakers

This could be a good trade for the Lakers, who are in 13th place in the Western Conference standings. Russell and Beasley are terrific shooters from the perimeter and Vanderbilt would give Los Angeles another power forward who can defend and grab rebounds.

Russell is averaging 17.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.2 assists this season while shooting 46.5% from the field, 39.1% from beyond the arc and 85.6% from the free-throw line. The All-Star has made 148 3-pointers.

Beasley, who is seventh in the NBA in 3-point field goals, is averaging 13.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 35.9% from deep. He’s hit 169 shots from 3-point land. The veteran has played for the Denver Nuggets, Timberwolves and Jazz.

Finally, Vanderbilt is averaging 8.3 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting 55.6% from the field and 33.3% from 3-point range. He’s only 23 and listed at 6-foot-9.

The Lakers Have to Trade Russell Westbrook

Westbrook is averaging 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists this season while shooting 41.7% from the field, 29.6% from beyond the arc and 65.5% from the free-throw line. The nine-time All-Star and future Hall of Famer is third in the NBA in turnovers and has the fourth-worst effective field goal percentage and the third-worst true shooting percentage.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Westbrook and Lakers head coach Darvin Ham had a “heated verbal exchange” in the locker room during halftime of the Oklahoma City Thunder game on February 7 at Arena. Voices “were raised in the locker room.” The Lakers lost to the Thunder by a final score of 133-130.

“Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook and coach Darvin Ham had a brief, heated verbal exchange in the locker room during halftime of Tuesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski wrote. “Ham expressed frustration with how Westbrook lingered on the playing floor after getting subbed out of the game late in the second quarter. Voices were raised in the locker room, but discussion turned back to trying to win the game against the Thunder, sources said.”

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