The first major trade of the NBA offseason was a doozy.
Tantalizing rumors that this transaction could happen circulated relatively recently and (pending official league approval which is expected) it surprisingly came together quickly as the Wizards shipped Russell Westbrook (and a pair of future second-round picks) to the Lakers, taking some major shine away from Thursday’s NBA Draft. Los Angeles sent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrel, Kyle Kuzma, and the No. 22 pick in this year’s draft to Washington to complete the trade.
There’s a brand new big three in Los Angeles as the 32-year-old point guard, the 2017 NBA MVP, joins another new team for the third straight offseason. This time he gets to team up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis to form an historic trio as the Lakers instantly upgraded the star power of the league’s most glamorous franchise. While the addition of Westbrook adds a ton of money to the Lakers’ ledger that will inhibit their ability to build around the new core, it undoubtedly makes Los Angeles the team to beat in the Western Conference despite holes (only four players are officially signed for the 2021-22 season currently) that exist on the roster.
As always with these major NBA transactions, there are winners and losers that need to be highlighted. So without further adieu, let’s dissect what easily could be the biggest trade of the offseason.