Every member of the Los Angeles Lakers organization involved in the Russell Westbrook trade, including star forward LeBron James, reportedly admitted to misjudging it.
“Sources told ESPN that every member of the organization involved in the Russell Westbrook trade — including James – will admit they misjudged it, owning part of the blame,” Dave McMenamin wrote.
Back in the 2021 offseason, the Lakers dealt Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and a first-round pick to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Westbrook and two future second-round picks.
The guard spent nearly two seasons as a member of the storied Lakers franchise. In his first season as a Lakers, the 2021-22 season, he averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the floor and 29.8 percent from outside the 3-point arc.
The 2021-22 season marked the only full season that Westbrook played for the Lakers. In his second season in Los Angeles — when the Lakers decided to have him come off the bench — he played just 52 regular-season games and averaged 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.
In February of 2023, the Lakers decided to trade Westbrook to the Utah Jazz in a three-team trade that also involved the Minnesota Timberwolves. Los Angeles received D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in the deal.
Beasley is no longer a member of the Lakers franchise, as he is currently playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, but Russell and Vanderbilt have both proven to be important players for Los Angeles.
The 27-year-old recently missed three games with a tailbone injury but made his return to the lineup in the Lakers’ victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 7. In 31 minutes of playing time, he dropped 13 points, six assists, one steal and one block while shooting 5-of-14 from the floor and 3-of-9 from 3-point range.
The Lakers will try to pick up their second victory in a row when they take on the Toronto Raptors at home on Tuesday. The Raptors have won two of their last three games, as before beating the Warriors on Jan. 7 they picked up a five-point win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 3.