Wizards

Source: Wizards trade Westbrook to Lakers in blockbuster deal

Wizards

After one memorable and record-setting season in Washington, Russell Westbrook is moving on.

The future Hall of Famer was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as well as the 22nd overall pick in the 2021 draft, NBC Sports Washington has confirmed. The Wizards will also ship two second-round picks (2024 and 2028) to L.A.

The news, which was first reported by ESPN and the Athletic, kicked off 2021 draft day with a blockbuster. The Wizards have changed course roughly eight months after acquiring Westbrook in a trade with the Houston Rockets.

Westbrook, 32, heads to the city where he's from and a contending team where he can possibly win a title, which is essentially the only major accomplishment missing from his NBA resume. The Lakers won the 2019-20 championship just last October.

The Wizards get in return three veteran players and a first-round pick, a substantial haul for a player on a supermax contract who turns 33 later this year. That adds new context to the decision the Wizards made to trade beloved franchise player John Wall away for Westbrook.

Wall was also signed to a supermax deal and at the time he was dealt was recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon. The Wizards had to attach a first-round pick to deal him for Westbrook, but now get one back.

Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the fourth time in his career in his lone season with the Wizards. He posted career-highs in rebounds and assists per game, the latter of which led the NBA.

 

Westbrook's one season with the Wizards will long be remembered for him breaking Oscar Robertson's all-time triple-doubles record, which he eclipsed in May. Westbrook also helped lead the Wizards to their first playoff appearance in three years.

The Wizards, meanwhile, are charting a new course and their next moves will be very telling. Given they got back veteran players, it doesn't suggest a rebuild is in the works or that Bradley Beal will be traded next.