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BREAKING: Huge 3-Team Trade Sends Russ to Jazz, D'Lo to Lakers

The Lakers will receive D'Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Malik Beasley; Timberwolves get Mike Conley, 2nd; and Jazz will get Russell Westbrook and a 1st.

Photo By: Katelyn Mulcahy (Getty Images North America)

Russell Westbrook's days with the Los Angeles Lakers may be coming to an end, and a familiar face could return to purple and gold.

The Athletic's Shams Charania and Tony Jones reported Wednesday that the Lakers, Timberwolves, and Jazz are "in talks about signing a three-team deal," with D'Angelo Russell being sent to Los Angeles and Mike Conley headed to Minnesota.

If the trade is completed, it doesn't seem like Westbrook will be suiting up for the Jazz to help their playoff push. Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report reported the "likely path" in such a scenario would be a buyout for the nine-time All-Star.

Westbrook is a future Hall of Famer with a résumé that includes league MVP, two-time leading scorer, three-time assists leader, and joining the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team. However, his Laker tenure did not go as planned. He's a ball-dominant playmaker, but with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the floor, he can't quite get going. Westbrook's struggles led first-time Head Coach Darvin Ham to bring him off the bench, where he's had some success.

Boasting a 30.4% career 3-point percentage, he can't capitalize on the distance James and Davis have created. Even before the season started, there were rumors of deals surrounding the UCLA product. Westbrook had been linked to the Jazz for some time now, with the cap space they've created surrounding the trades of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell in the off-season.

If the Lakers do get Russell back, they'll have come full circle since they originally selected him with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2015 NBA draft. He played his first two seasons in L.A. before the Lakers traded him to the Brooklyn Nets. He has since played for the Golden State Warriors and Timberwolves as well.

The Lakers will also get his two major role players on this deal. Malik Beasley and Jared Vanderbilt. These two of him have been popular players in the trade deadline process and have been inquired about by many teams. Beasley will give LeBron James a reliable 3-point shooter. Vanderbilt brings Beverly-like defense to the second unit.

D'Angelo Russell hasn't quite lived up to the expectations that come with a draft position and has yet to find a way around serious contenders, but there are some things he likes about his game. The Ohio State product is averaging 17.9 points and 6.2 assists per game this season while making 39.1% of his threes. His shooting alone would be a breath of fresh air for Los Angeles, whereas they rank 26th in the league in three point percentage with 33.8%.

The Timberwolves would get a pass-first veteran in Conley who could put Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards in better positions to score and have no trouble defaulting to them when it comes to finding shots in crunch time.

That might be a better fit than Russell, and Conley has plenty of postseason experience from his days with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Jazz. Minnesota is No. 9 in the Western Conference standings, just three games behind the No. 3 seed. A late rise in the standings is not out of the question, and Conley can coach a young team looking to assert themselves. 

While the trade is not yet official, it's shaping up to be a pretty big deal for everyone involved. With just a fourth of the season left, we'll see how this truly impacts these franchises as they all aim to make a playoff push.

FULL TRADE DETAILS: Lakers Receive: D'Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt

Jazz Receive: Russell Westbrook, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, '27 1st Rd (via LAL, top 4 prot.) Timberwolves Receive: Mike Conley, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, '24 2nd (lesser of WAS/MEM), '25 and '26 2nds (via UTA)


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