D’Angelo Russell is coming back to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The point guard, who was drafted second overall by the Lakers in the 2015 Draft, is returning to the bright lights of Hollywood after a bombastic three-team trade.
Trusted NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski dropped the details in typical Woj-bomb fashion:
ESPN Sources: The Lakers are finalizing deal to land Minnesota’s D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in trade including Mike Conley and picks to Timberwolves and Russell Westbrook and a lightly protected 2027 LA first-round pick to Jazz.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2023
Many felt the Kyrie Irving trade was the crack in the dam that would start a chain reaction of trades from teams looking to contend. Russell’s return to the Purple and Gold is easily the second-biggest transaction this week.
He’s far from the star guard who got an All-Star nod while playing for the Brooklyn Nets. However, his stat line of 17.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 6.2 APG will perfectly replace Brodie’s production. His 39.1% 3FG will also provide some much-needed spacing for LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Jarred Vanderbilt will also provide some much-needed cover in the frontcourt. He’s getting 8.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists a night for the T’Wolves, and his hustle will help in their playoff push.
It was clear to every OKBET player who followed the Lakers that the Russell Westbrook experiment had run its course. He is playing solidly with 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists while getting used to starting from the bench, but he’s a terrible scheme fit for the Lakers. Reports suggest that the Jazz will buy out his contract and stick with Jordan Clarkson and Colin Sexton at the point.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves will replace D’Angelo Russell with a solid point guard in Mike Conley. While he’s no longer the game-changer that he was in Memphis, he can help the team rebuild.
NBA Twitter Reacts to Russell-For-Russell Trade
While the Irving trade stole most of the noise that would have gone for this trade, it was still significant enough that NBA Twitter made their thoughts about it known.
Lakers fans were very happy that Westbrook was finally out of the team:
LeBron to Rob Pelinka after the Lakers traded Russell Westbrook pic.twitter.com/HHIyNY0MwW
— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) February 9, 2023
RUSSELL WESTBROOK IS GONE.
LAKERS ONLY GAVE UP ONE PICK.
LAKERS TWITTER…ASSEMBLE!!!!! pic.twitter.com/MnSEwjZSFw
— Colb (@___Colb___) February 9, 2023
RUSSELL WESTBROOK NO LONGER A LAKER pic.twitter.com/XIGHrLvAIw
— Lakers Empire (@LakersEmpire) February 9, 2023
Westbrook fans, who are also tired of the slander of their idol, also voiced out their opinion:
Russell Westbrook is free from the Lakers LETS GOO https://t.co/g3ULAuBtQV
— ⚡️fan account (@TheWestbrookEra) February 9, 2023
Others also celebrated Russell’s return to the team that drafted him back to the league:
— Whistle (@WhistleSports) February 9, 2023
It remains to be seen whether this trade and the Rui Hachimura acquisition will help the team make a deep playoff run. However, this is a step in the right direction for the Lakers.