May 18, 2022

The Los Angeles Lakers are making changes following a dismal first-round performance in the 2021 playoffs. Numerous sources indicate that the Lakers have acquired Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, and the 22nd overall selection in the 2021 Draft.

The trade cannot be made public until Aug. 6, when the salary cap becomes official, and teams can begin making offseason moves. Lakers will also receive second-round picks in 2024 and 2028 from the Wizards. The deal will serve as a sort of homecoming for Westbrook, a Los Angeles native who helped UCLA to two Final Four appearances.

“Thank you, DC! You welcomed my family and I with open arms from day one,” Westbrook wrote in his social media post. “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!”

LA Lakers have made a considerable offseason trade twice in the last three years. They acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019 in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks.

Dennis Schroder averaged 15.4 points per game as a point guard for the Lakers last season, but he declined an extension during the regular season to test free agency.

Lakers would be Westbrook’s fourth team in his career history. The 32-year-old player is coming off his fourth career season, averaging a triple-double, a mark previously accomplished by only Hall of Fame guard Oscar Robertson.

Oklahoma City drafted Westbrook, 32, in 2008, and he spent his first 11 seasons with the Thunder. In 2019, he was traded to Houston and subsequently to Washington last season.