Russell Westbrook, according to various sources on Thursday, joined LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Los Angeles Lakers in a blockbuster NBA trade with the Washington Wizards.
The 32-year-old guard will join James and Davis on the 2020 NBA championship team in the hopes of forming a “Big Three” combination that would make the Lakers a title contender in 2022.
According to ESPN, USA Today, and The Athletic, the deal sends Westbrook and two future second-round NBA Draft picks to the Wizards in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, as well as the 22nd pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
Last season, Westbrook, who grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs, averaged 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 11.7 assists per game for the Wizards, and he revealed his departure via Twitter.
“Thank you DC! You welcomed my family and I with open arms from day one,” Westbrook tweeted.
“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,” added Westbrook.
Russell Westbrook won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award in 2017 when he was still playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was a member of the Thunder from 2008 to 2019, before being moved to Houston and then back to Washington in December, where he helped the Wizards make the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
Westbrook, a nine-time NBA All-Star who won Olympic gold in London in 2012, has led the NBA in assists three times in the last four seasons and was the NBA scoring champion in 2015 and 2017.
Westbrook surpassed Oscar Robertson for the most career triple-doubles in NBA history last May. He also set a record with 42 triple doubles in a season in 2017, joining Robertson as the only players to average a triple double for an entire season, a performance he repeated in three of the following four seasons.
The Lakers won the NBA championship in 2020, giving James his fourth career title, but they were eliminated in the first round of this year’s playoffs by Phoenix.
Los Angeles selected University of Kentucky forward Isaiah Jackson with the 22nd overall choice in the draft, but if the conditions of the trade are right, Jackson will be heading to Washington.