Sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that the Los Angeles Lakers are close to a deal with Washington Wizards to acquire Russell Westbrook in exchange for Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell, KentaviousCaldwell-Pope, and a 2021 pick.
Harrell has signed up for his $9.7million player option for next season. This opens the door to a possible deal.
Potential Salary Cap Implications for Lakers
2022-23: $14M ($4.9M guaranteed)
Bobby Marks, ESPN
There is no deal and there are still many details to be worked out on the Westbrook trade. Sources told Wojnarowski that talks with the Sacramento Kings regarding a possible Buddy Hield deal were ongoing.
The No. 22 pick is owned by the Lakers. 22 pick in Thursday night’s draft (8 ET on ABC and ESPN, the ESPN App).
If the trade is approved, Westbrook will be joining Anthony Davis & Co. in Los Angeles as a point guard. This makes Westbrook a nine-time All Star. In his career, Westbrook has averaged a three-double in a single season four times, including this season. He would make the Lakers' two top-five players in career triple doubles (Westbrook has 184, James 99).
His playmaking is one area where he can help L.A. In 2020-21, the Lakers were 18th in assists created per game. In this category, Westbrook has been the leader of the NBA for three consecutive seasons. The only exception was the year with James Harden in Houston.
NBA Trade Machine Want to predict where your favorite NBA players might end up? ESPN's Trade Machine allows you to create your own deals.
Dennis Schroder was the Lakers' point guard this season. However, he declined the maximum extension that the Lakers could offer him during the regular season in order to pursue a more lucrative deal this summer as a free agent.
Sources say Westbrook is interested in returning to Los Angeles, where he grew up and attended UCLA.
According to Wojnarowski, Washington would have Bradley Beal as the basis of any potential deal. This creates salary-cap flexibility that will allow the team to add talent around its star guard. Beal enters the final year of his contract, and will be available as a free agent in the next offseason.
The trade proposal would create a space for Washington of up to $25 million in 2022-23.
This report used information from ESPN's Bobby Marks.