The Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz are finalizing a three-team trade that would send Russell Westbrook and a top-four protected 2027 first-round pick to the Jazz, D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley to the Lakers and Mike Conley Jr. to the Timberwolves, CBS Sports’ Bill Reiter has confirmed. In addition, the Timberwolves will receive the lesser of Washington and Memphis’ second-round picks in 2024 along with 2025 and 2026 second-round picks from the Jazz. Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones and Nickeil Alexander-Walker are also going to Minnesota in the deal.
The Lakers have been trying to trade Westbrook since the offseason, but failed for most of the season to find a suitable deal. There were rumors in the offseason that they were close to dealing Westbrook and two first-round picks to Indiana Pacers for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner, but that deal was never completed, and the team’s attempts to land Kyrie Irving over the weekend were thwarted when Irving ultimately landed with the Dallas Mavericks.
Now, in Russell, Beasley and Vanderbilt, the Lakers have added three young players that they think can not only help them compete this season, but be a part of the team moving forward. The Lakers initially drafted Russell No. 2 overall in 2015, but traded him in 2017 to help create cap space.
Minnesota has watched Anthony Edwards blossom into one of the league’s brightest young stars, and as such, it made sense for them to seek a move involving Russell, whose contract expires after the season. If Edwards is going to be their primary ball-handler moving forward, it did not make sense for them to extend Russell’s contract, so getting value back for him now is beneficial. In Conley, the Wolves get a point guard who just spent three seasons next to Rudy Gobert with the Jazz, so Minnesota knows that they can play together.
Utah continues to add to its deep war chest of draft assets, and a first-round pick from the Lakers could be among the most valuable selections on the market. LeBron James is 38 and Anthony Davis is among the most injury-prone stars in the NBA, so adding a pick from Los Angeles in 2027 would potentially allow the Jazz to cash in if the Lakers decline in the coming years.