Lakers Reportedly Aquire Russell, Beasley, and Vanderbilt in Big Three-Team Trade
It’s official: The Los Angeles Lakers have moved on from the Russell Westbrook experience in a massive three-team trade. Here are the logistics as of now, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Lakers get: D’Angelo Russell (Minnesota), Malik Beasley (Utah), Jarred Vanderbilt (Utah)
Utah gets: Russell Westbrook, Juan Tosacano-Anderson, Damian Jones, top-4 protected 2027 first-round pick
Timberwolves get: Mike Conley, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, two second-round picks
There may be a few small tweaks to that as the details fully emerge, but WOW that’s an annoyingly good deal for LA. The fact that they got three rotation players (maybe even three starters when we consider their roster) for only ONE of their first-rounders and Russ’ bad expiring deal is shocking. I got to give props to their front office.
The question now, however, is how much of a difference that will make THIS season for a team that sits 13th in the Western Conference. There is no doubt it will make them better, but enough that they have to be taken seriously as a true playoff threat? Only time will tell.
The last thing to consider is the future of Russell Westbrook. I have to imagine the Utah Jazz are planning to buy him out of his $47 million deal, which will then give him a chance to sign with a playoff contender. Speaking of which …
Do we think the Chicago Bulls would show any interest if he were to become a free agent? Billy Donovan did coach Westbrook for years and there is a clear need at point guard. Other than that, however, it’s hard to see a world where the fit makes sense. He’s a downhill player who provides very little spacing. Not to mention, he’s a pretty high-usage talent. The fit just doesn’t make really any sense, and I have to imagine Westbrook will be particularly weary of that after his rough stint in LA.
Our original post on the three-team trade rumor can be found below:
One day after LeBron James broke the NBA’s all-time scoring record, the Los Angeles Lakers are in talks to make a big move.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the organization is speaking with both the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves on a potential three-team trade that would see point guard D’Angelo Russell head back to LA. The Jazz would then take on Russell Westbrook and draft compensation, while the Timberwolves would land veteran point guard Mike Conley for a postseason run.
The idea of the Lakers also receiving role players like Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt has been part of the discussion.
Adrian Wojnarowski reiterated the Lakers’ long-standing interest in Russell on ESPN and also mentioned that the deal could include more than just Russell heading back to LA.
While nothing has been confirmed, these massive updates usually lead to at least some kind of deal getting done. And, if that does happen to be the case, it sure sounds like it will mark the end of the dramatic Westbrook saga.
The real question now, however, is how much of the Lakers’ highly-coveted draft capital will be involved and whether or not these additions will make a significant difference in the Lakers’ playoff pursuit. While Russell – who was originally drafted by LA back in 2015 – has put together a strong shooting season in Minnesota, would one really describe him as a championship-caliber needle-mover?
His skillset combined with that of a 38.0 percent career shooter in Beasley and a hard-nosed defender in Vanderbilt would undoubtedly give the Lakers more depth than they have now, but they’re also 25-30 and 13th in the Western Conference. That’s a lot of ground to make up and a lot of pressure on these mid-season acquisitions.
We’ll keep you updated on whether or not this trade goes through.