Westbrook traded to Lakers in blockbuster deal

Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards reacts prior to playing against the Denver Nuggets at Capital One Arena on February 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Will Newton | Getty Images

The Washington Wizards have agreed to send superstar Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers for three players and what was the number 22 pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft, The Athletic and ESPN have reported.

In addition to the first-round pick, the Wizards are receiving Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell, per the reports.

With the number 22 pick Washington selected Isaiah Jackson, a shot-blocking center out of Kentucky but later traded him to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for the 31st pick and point guard Aaron Holiday – brother of NBA champion with the Milwaukee Bucks, Jrue.

At 31 the Wizards then selected Isaiah Todd, a 19-year-old power forward who chose forgo college and play in the NBA’s G-League, where he averaged 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Ignite.

The Wizards are also sending their 2024 second-round pick and 2028 second-round pick to the Lakers along with Westbrook, who is returning home to California. The Long Beach native played his college ball at UCLA before being drafted fourth overall in 2008.

Westbrook averaged a triple-double in 2020-21 with 22.2 points, 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds in his first season with the Wizards. It was the fourth time in his career the point guard has averaged a triple-double for a season and he currently holds the all-time triple-double record with 184, having overtaken Oscar Robertson (181) in May.

The nine-time All Star, nine-time All-NBA selection and 2017 Most Valuable Player joins LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the newest ‘super team’ in the league. He also becomes the seventh former MVP to be acquired by the Lakers after Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo, Karl Malone, Steve Nash and James himself.

In return, the Wizards get three players who combined to average 36.1 points per game in 2020-21.

Harrell, who was awarded Sixth Man of the Year in 2020, averaged 13.5 in his first season with the Lakers, while Kuzma averaged 12.9 and Caldwell-Pope 9.7 in their fourth seasons in L.A. All three players are still in their 20s.

Westbrook joins his third team via trade in three years – the first former MVP to do so – after spending 11 seasons of his NBA career in Oklahoma City. He holds career averages of 23.2 points, 8.5 assists and 7.4 rebounds.

A few hours after the trade was confirmed, the 32-year-old took to Twitter to share his appreciation for the Wizards franchise.

“Thank you DC! You welcomed my family and I with open arms from day one,” he wrote. “Everyone from the front office, to the training staff, the coaches, my teammates, and the fans. I’m grateful y’all took a chance on me and supported me every step of the way.”

“I’m blessed to have been a part of such a stand up organization. It didn’t take long to make a home in DC, and I will forever be grateful and appreciative of my experience with the organization. Thank you!”

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