The Washington Wizards have agreed to send superstar Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers for three players and what was number 22 in Thursday night’s NBA draw, The Athletic and ESPN have reported.
In addition to the first round pick, the Wizards are reported to receive Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell.
With the No. 22, Washington selected Isaiah Jackson, a Kentucky shot-blocking center, but later traded him for the Indiana Pacers in exchange for 31st pick-and-point guard Aaron Holiday – brother of NBA champion with the Milwaukee Bucks, Jr.
At age 31, the Wizards next selected Isaiah Todd, a 19-year-old power forward who chose to drop out of college and play in the NBA’s G-League, where he averaged 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game scored for the Ignite.
The Wizards also send their 2024 second round pick and 2028 second round pick to the Lakers along with Westbrook, who returns 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 marked the fourth time in his career that 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 roster and 2017 Most Valuable Player joins LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the newest “super team” in the league. He also becomes the seventh former MVP to be taken over by the Lakers, after Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo, Karl Malone, Steve Nash and James himself.
In return, the Wizards will receive three players who together averaged 36.1 points per game in 2020-21.
Harrell, who was named 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 season in LA. All three players are still in their twenties.
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 has career averages of 23.2 points, 8.5 assists and 7.4 rebounds.
A few hours after the transaction was confirmed, the 32-year-old took to Twitter to share his appreciation for the Wizards franchise.
“Thank you DC! You have 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 am grateful that you all took a chance and supported me every step of the way.”
“I am blessed to be part of such a stand-up organization. It didn’t take long to find a home in DC, and I will be forever grateful and grateful for my experience with the organization. Thank you !”