Russell Westbrook # 4 of the Washington Wizards reacts before the game against the Denver Nuggets at Capital One Arena on February 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Will Newton | Getty Images
The Washington Wizards have agreed to send superstar Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers for three players, and what was number 22 on Thursday night’s NBA draft, The Athletic and ESPN reported.
In addition to the first round selection, wizards will receive Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Montrezl Harrell, according to reports.
With the number 22, Washington picked Isaiah Jackson, a gunshot blocking center from Kentucky, but later traded him to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for the 31st pick and point guard Aaron Holiday – brother of the NBA champion at the Milwaukee Bucks, Jrue.
At 31, the Wizards chose Isaiah Todd, a 19-year-old power forward who dropped out of college and played in the NBA’s G-League, averaging 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Ignite .
The Wizards are also sending their 2024 second round pick and 2028 second round pick to the Lakers along with Westbrook returning to California. The Long Beacher native played his college ball at UCLA before finishing fourth overall in 2008.
Westbrook averaged a triple-double in the 2020/21 season with 22.2 points, 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds in his first season with the Wizards. It was the fourth time in his career that the point guard has averaged a triple-double for a season and currently holds the all-time triple-double record at 184 after overtaking Oscar Robertson (181) in May.
The nine-time All Star, nine-time All-NBA selection and 2017 Most Valuable Player join LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the league’s newest “super team”. He also becomes the seventh former MVP to be taken over by the Lakers after Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo, Karl Malone, Steve Nash and James himself.
In return, the Wizards receive three players who together achieve an average of 36.1 points per game in the 2020/21 season.
Harrell, named sixth Man of the Year in 2020, averaged 13.5 in his first season with the Lakers, while Kuzma averaged 12.9 and Caldwell-Pope averaged 9.7 in her fourth season in LA. All three players are still in their 20s.
Westbrook joins his third team in three years on the trade – the first former MVP to do so – after spending 11 seasons of his NBA career in Oklahoma City. He holds career averages of 23.2 points, 8.5 assists and 7.4 rebounds.
A few hours after the deal was confirmed, the 32-year-old took to Twitter to share his appreciation for the Wizards franchise.
“Thank you DC! You welcomed my family and me with open arms from day one,” he wrote. “Everyone from the front office to the training staff, the coaches, my teammates to the fans. I’m grateful that you all took my chance and supported me every step of the way.”
“I am blessed to be part of such a stand-up organization. It didn’t take long to find a home in DC and I will forever be grateful and grateful for my experience with the organization. Thank you very much!”