Report: Lakers trade Russ to Jazz in three-team deal involving Wolves

Russell Westbrook, Mike Conley

Russell Westbrook is on the move.

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly are trading Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz in a three-team deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, citing sources.

The third team involved is the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Los Angeles will receive D'Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt, while Westbrook and the Lakers' lightly protected 2027 first-round pick will head to Utah. The Timberwolves will receive Mike Conley Jr. and second-round pick compensation. 

Wojnarowski added the Lakers' duo of Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones will also head to Utah, with Jazz's Nickeil Alexander-Walker going to Minnesota.

Westbrook reportedly is expected to be bought out of his expiring $47 million contract, which will make him a free agent, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and TNT, citing sources. Haynes added that the Los Angeles Clippers would be interested in Westbrook should a buyout occur.

The Lakers acquired Westbrook from the Washington Wizards in 2021, sending back Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and its first-round pick that draft, but the move to pair him with LeBron James and Anthony Davis failed to pan out. 


The Lakers missed the postseason completely in Westbrook’s first season, finishing 11th in the Western Conference and outside of the play-in bracket. They’re currently 13th this season and could suffer the same fate, though the conference is still wide open with 27 games to go on Los Angeles’ schedule. 

Russell, Beasley and Vanderbilt all add elements to the Lakers' squad that was sorely needed: 3-point shooting and rotational-level bodies, with Vanderbilt's defense expected to be imperative. Russell, of course, went No. 2 overall in the 2015 draft to the Lakers until things went awry, but now he's back to lead the point and help the team climb the Western Conference ladder.

Minnesota then pair Conley with Rudy Gobert for familiar chemistry. They both played key roles in Utah the last few seasons prior to the latter leaving via trade over the offseason. Karl-Anthony Towns is still nursing an injury that has sidelined him since November, so Conley's limited offensive role could bode well in a squad also featuring Anthony Edwards.

Utah, meanwhile, continue stashing draft picks as it builds a roster for the future led by Lauri Markkanen and Co. The Donovan Mitchell-Gobert pairing often flamed out in the postseason despite accumulating wins in the regular season.