July 29, 2021
By Terrance turner
The Washington Wizards are trading Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowrski. The Wizards are sending 2024 and 2028 second-round picks to the Lakers to complete the deal, sources told Wojnarowski.
The deal is not official until August 6, when the salary cap becomes official. But it has already generated huge buzz online and in the sports world, as Westbrook joins LeBron James and Anthony Davis on a L.A. team that is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2021 season. The Lakers lost the playoff series to the Phoenix Suns in June, after losing Game 6. It is the first time that a LeBron James team has been eliminated from the playoffs in the first round.
Kuzma scored a dismal 2 points in Game 6, matching his performance in Game 2. That sparked questions about his future in L.A. Caldwell-Pope suffered a knee injury in Game 3 of the Suns series and missed Game 4. Harrell had limited playing time in the series and exercised his player option this week, making the trade possible.
During his one season in Washington, Westbrook shined. In May, he broke the record for career triple-doubles — a record that legend Oscar Peterson had held since March 24, 1974. Westbrook now has 184. (LeBron James is top five on the all-time list, with 99.) Westbrook is from Los Angeles and played at UCLA in college. He posted a goodbye message to Washington, D.C. tonight.
“Thank you DC! You welcomed my family and I with open arms from day one,” he wrote. “Everyone from the front office, to the training staff, the coaches, my teammates, and the fans. I’m grateful y’all took a chance on me and supported me every step of the way. I’m blessed to have been a part of such a stand up organization. It didn’t take long to make a home in DC, and I will forever be grateful and appreciative of my experience with the organization. Thank you! #thedistrict.”