Following a historic night, there’s more big news coming out of Hollywood. With the trade deadline heading for home, Rob Pelinka and the Lakers have swung a deal.
According to all sources, it seems Russell Westbrook’s time with the Lakers has come to an end. Russ has now been traded to the Jazz after his last game as a Laker against his old Oklahoma City Thunder team.
Times were stormy in Southern California for the UCLA grad, but he really put on for his city this season. Playing and performing like a true professional, especially in post-game pressers. Despite all the unjust hate thrown his way from Laker nation. Or press trying to bait him with questions more loaded than his stats in the triple-double column.
We wish Westbrook the best, he’s still one of the greatest guards to ever enter the association. If you know anything about his history, you know Utah is an unfair trade destination for him to land. Rumors of a buyout could see him stay in his hometown, as the Los Angeles Clippers appear interested in this Sixth Man of the Year candidate.
Losing a big-name like this hurts the Lake Show. But you know, LA loves a Hollywood ending. Over the years, the Lakers have reunited with more former members than old rock bands. Even Dennis Schröder has recently run it back. Now, after years of rumors, D’Angelo Russell is back in the City of Angels.
His Karl-Anthony Towns friendship partnership didn’t work as well as everyone thought in a Minnesota as crowded as one of Prince’s final Paisley Park concerts. Yet, you best believe he still has ice in those veins. With this Russell for Russell trade, the Lakers get younger and deeper from downtown again. Just like when they picked up Rui Hachimura a few weeks ago for Kendrick Nunn.
LA also welcomes more youth and depth in Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt. Don’t underestimate how much these trade pieces can bolster the bench. This three-team trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Utah Jazz also sees Mike Conley and Canadian Nickeil Alexander-Walker heading to Minnesota along with some picks, as the Wolves get a steady, dependable all-star at the point.
Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones and a pick are also on the move from LA to Salt Lake City. Both underused, but undeniable young talents.
The Lake Show loses Russell Westbrook’s 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists per-game, but gain D’Angelo Russell per game averages of 17.9 points, 6.2 assists and 39.1% from 3-point range. That’s a lot of firepower with Anthony Davis, Hachimura, Schröder, Lonnie Walker IV and the NBA’s all-time leader in points scored.
Now, it’s time to stop playing and make the play-in.