Report: D’Angelo Russell Is Returning To The Lakers In A Three-Team Deal Involving Russell Westbrook And Mike Conley

The Russell Westbrook era with the Los Angeles Lakers is on the verge of coming to an end, and it will lead to them being reunited with a former top draft pick. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on Wednesday that the Lakers were in talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves on a trade that would land them D’Angelo Russell, who the team selected second overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Shortly after, Shams Charania and Tony Jones of The Athletic dropped a bombshell: Talks are ongoing on a deal that will send Russell back to Los Angeles, but Westbrook will not be sent to Minnesota in a straight swap. Instead, Charania reports that Westbrook and draft compensation will head to the Utah Jazz, which will get in on the deal by sending Mike Conley to the Timberwolves. This reporting was confirmed by Wojnarowski.

Both Charnia and Jake Fischer of Yahoo reported that both Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley – two Jazz players in high demand on the trade market — would also be in the deal, with Charania mentioning that they would end up going to the Lakers.

The Lakers had Russell on the roster for the first two years of his career before they sent him to the Brooklyn Nets in a trade in 2017. Russell is averaging 17.9 points and 6.2 assists per game this season on 46.5/39.1/85.6 shooting splits. Conley will go to Minnesota where they swap out a scorer for a steadying veteran hand at point guard with experience playing with Rudy Gobert, as he’s averaging 10.7 points and 7.7 assists per game. Westbrook, meanwhile is expected to be bought out by Utah, per Chris Haynes.

It’s quite the shakeup for the Lakers, whose high profile loss on Tuesday night in LeBron’s coronation as the league’s all-time leading scorer (days after seeing Kyrie Irving get traded to Dallas) seems to have provided the impetus to finally make a big move. Russell will bring them more scoring pop in the backcourt, while Vanderbilt is a quality rebounder and defender and Beasley gives them a spot-up shooter off the bench. The Jazz continue to stack first round picks, while the Timberwolves get something in return for Russell, who could’ve walked as a free agent, and will hope a steadying, veteran presence will help them in the stretch run.

The final, official details — after the Wolves tried shopping D’Angelo Russell to other teams — sees the Wolves get some second round picks along with Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, with Russell, Vanderbilt, and Beasley going to L.A., and Westbrook, Damian Jones, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and the Lakers’ 2027 first round pick (protected 1-4) going to Utah.