Posted on: February 9, 2023, 09:06h.
Final up to date on: February 9, 2023, 09:06h.
After a yr of hypothesis, the Los Angeles Lakers unloaded level guard Russell Westbrook in a three-team deal involving the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves on the eve of the NBA commerce TNC.
The Lakers despatched Westbrook, heart Damian Jones, small ahead Juan Toscano-Anderson, and a protected 2027 first-round draft choose to the Jazz.
The Jazz despatched level guard Mike Conley, guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and three second-round picks (in 2023, 2025, and 2026) to the Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves despatched level guard D’Angelo Russell, capturing guard Malik Beasley, and energy ahead Jarred Vanderbilt to the Lakers to finish the Westbrook commerce.
Westbrook Commerce Impacts Playoff Projections and Odds
With a bit greater than 1 / 4 of the season remaining, the three groups concerned within the Westbrook commerce are combating for spots within the Western Convention Play-In Event. The Timberwolves are the one staff out of the three with a document above .500. The Western Convention has three elite groups on the high of the standings, and 9 groups (between fourth place and thirteenth place) inside 4.5 video games of one another.
The Timberwolves are at the moment in eighth place within the Western Convention with a 30-28 document. FiveThirtyEight estimates the Timberwolves have a 69% probability of qualifying for the postseason.
The Jazz have a 27-29 document, and they might bubble the Western Convention Play-In Event because the #11 staff. In keeping with FiveThirtyEight’s postseason projection, the Jazz have an 11% probability of securing a playoff berth.
With a 25-30 document, the Lakers are in thirteenth place within the Western Convention, however solely two video games out of the Play-In Event. FiveThirtyEight tasks the Lakers have a 31% probability at making the playoffs.
The Lakers are +2500 odds to win the Western Convention, adopted by the Timberwolves at +9000 and the Jazz at +2000.
The Lakers are +5000 odds to win the 2022-23 NBA championship, they usually’re the thirteenth staff on DraftKings’ futures board. The Timberwolves are +20000 odds to win the title, and the Jazz are +40000 odds.
Westbrook Ends Tumultuous Stint in Hollywood
The Lakers initially acquired Westbrook in a commerce with the Washington Wizards in the summertime of 2021. Within the preseason, Westbrook feuded with then head coach Frank Vogel, which was only the start of a rocky relationship with the teaching workers. It solely took a number of video games into the beginning of the 2021-22 season earlier than the Lakers realized that made an important error.
After the Lakers missed the playoffs, the staff fired Vogel who was merely a scapegoat for Westbrook’s incapability to adapt to the staff. Westbrook additionally had a tempestuous relationship with the native media, and followers skewered him on social media by dubbing him “Westbrick” to lampoon his capturing issues.
The Lakers tried to commerce Westbrook to quite a few groups together with the Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz in the summertime of 2022. None of these offers got here to fruition as a result of each potential commerce associate needed the Lakers to incorporate a number of first-round picks to sweeten the deal.
Westbrook had a participant choice for remaining yr on his max-contract price $47 million. He opted in for the 2022-23 season, however new head coach Darvin Ham determined that Westbrook can be higher suited because the sixth man. Westbrook ultimately accepted his new function and located immediate success. He emerged as one of many betting favorites to win the NBA Sixth Man of the 12 months award after averaging 15.9 factors, 7.5 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per recreation off the bench.
The Lakers lastly dumped Westbrook, nevertheless it value them a first-round choose within the 2027 NBA Draft. The staff depleted a number of future first-rounders in trades involving Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, and the disastrous commerce for Westbrook with the Wizards.
D’Angelo Russell Returns to the Lakers
The Lakers chosen D’Angelo Russell, a standout from Ohio State, with the #2 choose within the 2015 NBA Draft. Russell performed solely two seasons with the Lakers earlier than they traded him to the Brooklyn Nets. After two seasons in Brooklyn, the Nets traded Russell to the Golden State Warriors as a part of a package deal that included All-Star Kevin Durant. He appeared in solely 33 video games with the Warriors earlier than they traded him to the Timberwolves for swingman Andrew Wiggins in February of 2020.
Russell averaged 17.7 factors, 5.7 assists, and three.5 rebounds over his profession that spanned 478 video games. He’s a profession 36% shooter from 3-point vary, however shot a career-high 39% from downtown this season. He’s within the final yr of his contract, so it’s unknown if the Lakers will signal him within the offseason.
The Lakers lacked constant 3-point capturing this season, they usually upgraded their perimeter capturing with Russell and Malik Beasley. Throughout his seven-year profession, Beasley had three seasons wherein he shot 40% of higher from 3-point vary. Beasley began 13 video games with the Timberwolves this season, however excelled as their sixth man. He averaged 13.4 factors, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per recreation off the bench this season. Beasley has yet another yr left on his contract, nevertheless it’s a membership choice, so the Lakers might choose that up for $16.5 million.
The Lakers additionally added energy ahead Jarred Vanderbilt, who gives them with rebounding and protection. He began 41 video games for the Timberwolves this season and averaged a career-high 8.3 factors and seven.9 rebounds per recreation.
Utah Jazz Stockpiling Draft Picks
The Jazz have been seeking to commerce veteran guard Mike Conley, and he discovered a house with the Timberwolves. The Timberwolves are a younger staff, and Conley can present them with much-needed knowledge.
The Timberwolves additionally acquired capturing guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker from the Jazz. He confirmed flashes of success early in his profession with the New Orleans Pelicans, however he barely noticed any taking part in time with the Jazz.
The Timberwolves gave up 4 first-round picks throughout an offseason commerce with the Jazz for heart Rudy Gobert. Though this Westbrook multi-team deal didn’t contain any first rounders to the Timberwolves, they have been capable of purchase three second-round picks from the Jazz.
The Jazz added Westbrook to their roster, however they actually needed one other first-round choose to their rising arsenal of draft capital. The Jazz now have 15 first-round picks between 2023 and 2029. They amassed a horde of picks by buying and selling Gobert to the Timberwolves, and dealing guard Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavs within the offseason.