The Los Angeles Lakers have secured Washington Wizards superstar Russell Westbrook in a monster trade finalised during the 2021 NBA Draft.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday morning that the Lakers have finalised a deal to acquire Westbrook.
In return Washington will receive Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the 2021 Draft No. 22 pick.
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The Lakers and Wizards have agreed on the trade for Russell Westbrook, sources tell ESPN.
The Lakers were clear favourites to be crowned NBA champions last season but fell short with injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis proving costly.
Even when they did play, L.A. struggled to find a consistent third option to support the pair and provide an offensive boost when either was benched.
Westbrook would be the ideal solution to that glaring problem, having averaged a triple-double in the 2020-21 season – the fourth time he had done so in his career.
He averaged 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from deep.
From the Wizards’ perspective, attention immediately turns to what this could mean for Bradley Beal.
NBA: After delivering Milwaukee their first NBA Championship since 1971, Giannis Antetokounmpo explained why he decided to stay with the Bucks….
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The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported earlier in the week that the Wizards star is “seriously mulling his future” and is “very much on the fence” about whether to request a trade.
Beal led from the front for the Wizards last season alongside Westbrook, averaging 31.3 points per game as Washington surged into the playoffs on the back of a 17-6 run.
Beal has been loyal with Washington but Charania reported that he will take the next weekend to give a potential move serious thought with a decision on the cards this week.
He could become a free agent next offseason with a $36.4 million ($A49.4m) player option after the 2021-22 season.
Beal is also eligible for a four-year, $182 million ($A247m) extension this summer and 10-year veteran max extension next summer worth $235 million ($A319m) over five years.
Wojnarowski reported on Friday that the Wizards believe a Westbrook trade could create salary cap flexibility for the future to add talent around Beal.
Charania, meanwhile, added: “Sources tell me Beal right now has no desire to leave the Wizards”.
Lakers and Wizards are now in "serious talks" to trade Russ to L.A., per @ShamsCharania
Russ has become the Lakers' "primary focus" pic.twitter.com/brO3n0XQFa
"Sources tell me Beal right now has no desire to leave the Wizards."
NBA Insider @ShamsCharania reports on Bradley Beal as the Lakers-Wizards work to complete Russell Westbrook trade, presented by @ATT 5G. pic.twitter.com/FBkzRqwcLj
Originally published asLakers complete LeBron super-team
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