The Lakers And Wizards Are Reportedly In ‘Serious Talks’ On A Massive Russell Westbrook Trade

The Lakers have been trying desperately to come up with a major trade to upgrade their roster going into Thursday night’s NBA Draft, and all signs pointed to a deal with the Sacramento Kings for Buddy Hield entering Thursday afternoon.

That especially seemed to be the case when word broke from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Montrezl Harrell was picking up his player option, clearing the way for him to be included in a Draft night trade to bring the Kings sharpshooter to L.A.

However, the Kings weren’t the only team the Lakers were involved in trade talks with, and shortly after Woj’s reports about the Kings, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported L.A. was engaged in discussions to send Harrell, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the No. 22 pick to Washington for Russell Westbrook.

Charania then followed up with a note that talks were “serious” and that Westbrook had become L.A.’s primary focus.

The Lakers interest in Westbrook had been previously reported, but that was with regards to a Dennis Schröder sign-and-trade, which obviously can’t happen until free agency’s moratorium period opens on August 2. So, for a Draft night trade to take place, they would have to Harrell, Kuzma, and KCP to Washington for Westbrook to make salary work in what would be an incredibly fascinating blockbuster trade.

Not long after, Woj confirmed Shams’ report, noting that the two sides were close to finalizing a deal to send Westbrook back home to Los Angeles, with Marc Stein suggesting a deal was done.

For Washington, this could set in motion a series of events that leads to a Bradley Beal trade, while the Lakers would add the third star they crave next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but further apply a spacing crunch with a lack of shooters.

UPDATE: With how rapidly news arrived on these discussions before stopping completely, it is possible that there could be further additions made to the deal in terms of looping in other teams (possibly the Kings to get Hield back in the mix) once Dennis Schröder is able to be added as part of a sign-and-trade as previously noted.

Given that news of Bogdan Bogdanovic being signed and traded to the Bucks last year came out too early and resulted in Milwaukee getting fined and Bogdanovic going to Atlanta instead, it wouldn’t be a surprise if discussions involving Schröder were taking place and no one will say anything about it until it can legally happen. In any case, it seems Westbrook will be headed to Los Angeles within about a week’s time, it’s just a matter of where everyone else ends up that still seems up in the air.

However, per Woj, the current hang up is on the draft compensation as the two sides go back and forth, meaning it could just end up being the two-teamer as initially reported.