US basketball

Jazz acquire Lakers star Russell Westbrook as part of 3-team deal – reports


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Jazz acquire Lakers star Russell Westbrook as part of 3-team deal – reports

JAZZ-BOUND. Lakers guard Russell Westbrook reacts after scoring a three-point basket.

Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Lakers guard Russell Westbrook and coach Darvin Ham reportedly had a heated verbal exchange in Tuesday’s game, just two days before the NBA trade deadline

The Lakers, Jazz, and Minnesota Timberwolves are finalizing a deal that would send Russell Westbrook to Utah and D’Angelo Russell to Los Angeles, ESPN and The Athletic reported Wednesday night, February 8 (Thursday, February 9, Manila time).

Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt will also be headed to the Lakers, while the Jazz will also receive a first-round pick, per the reports. Minnesota will acquire Mike Conley Jr. from Utah and will receive second-round draft pick compensation as part of the deal.

The NBA trade deadline is Thursday.

Westbrook, 34, has been ineffective since coming to the Lakers ahead of the 2021-2022 season. He’s started just three of 52 games this season and is averaging 15.9 points per game. 

The former MVP reportedly had a heated verbal exchange with coach Darvin Ham in Tuesday’s game, during which LeBron James broke the all-time scoring mark.

Ham reportedly expressed frustration after Westbrook dawdled on the court following a substitution with 59.1 seconds left in the first half.

D’Angelo Russell, meanwhile, will be returning to the Lakers, who drafted him No. 2 overall in 2015 before trading him to Brooklyn in June 2017 for Kyle Kuzma and Brook Lopez.

Russell, 26, was in his fourth season in Minnesota. The 2018-2019 All-Star is averaging 17.9 points and 6.2 assists per game in 54 starts this season. His points production has decreased every season in Minnesota since averaging 21.7 for the Timberwolves in 12 games in 2019-2020. He is a career 17.7-point scorer for four teams.

Conley, 35, is in his 16th NBA season and fourth in Utah. He’s averaging 10.7 points and 7.7 assists per game in 43 games (42 starts) this season. He spent his first 12 seasons in Memphis and averages 14.7 points per game for his career.

Vanderbilt, 23, was in his first season with Utah after parts of three with the Timberwolves. He is averaging 8.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in 52 games (41 starts) this season.

Beasley, 26, served as a vital bench piece for the Jazz, averaging 13.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 55 games (13 starts). He too was in his first season in Utah after spending parts of three with Minnesota. –

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