After several days of negotiations, the Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Wizards agreed to a trade centered around Russell Westbrook on Thursday.
When it’s all said and done, LA will walk away with Westbrook in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft.
The Wizards also agreed to send 2024 and 2028 second-round picks the other way to make the numbers work.
After the agreement became official, Lakers star LeBron James took to social media to express his reaction to what had transpired.
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Lakers legend Magic Johnson also weighed in on the move.
“Laker Nation, the blockbuster trade that’s bringing Russell Westbrook to the Lakers is VERY exciting and will definitely make the Lakers a championship contender next season,” he tweeted out. “With Westbrook joining LeBron and AD, the Lakers now have their version of the Big 3. All we need now is a couple of shooters and we’ll be tough to beat!!”
That last point is an important one. The Lakers were in the hunt for a very good shooter this offseason, but ultimately his asking price proved to be too much. Still, LA needs someone to keep defenses honest for James, Westbrook and Anthony Davis — and there is really only one viable option out there for them who’d check that box.
That’s one way to celebrate a birthday. https://t.co/kR0Coa801w
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 28, 2021
Los Angeles also engaged in conversations with the Sacramento Kings on a possible Buddy Hield trade involving Kuzma and Harrell, but ultimately they decided to go the Westbrook route. Whether that will end up proving itself the right decision or not remains to be seen.
Either way, the Lakers have made a very big splash very early in the offseason. What comes next? Time will tell.