- The Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Wizards agreed to a trade centered around Russell Westbrook heading to Los Angeles ahead of Thursday’s Draft
- With Westbrook, the Lakers championship odds shifted from +600 to +420 following the trade
- See updated NBA Championship Odds and reaction to the trade below
The Los Angeles Lakers kicked off movement on the trade market just hours before the start of the NBA Draft when they agreed to trade for All-Star Russell Westbrook in a deal with the Washington Wizards.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers agreed to trade for Westbrook in exchange for the trio of Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, as well as a 2021 first-round draft pick.
Just hours before the trade took place, Los Angeles was +600 in the NBA Championship odds. Shortly after the trade, that line moved to +420 to place the Lakers behind only the title favorite Brooklyn Nets (+220).
2022 NBA Championship Odds
|Team||Odds at FanDuel|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+420|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+1300|
|Golden State Warriors||+1300|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+6000|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+8500|
|New York Knicks||+10000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+16000|
Oklahoma City Thunder
Odds as of July 29th
How Does the Trade Leave the Lakers?
On the surface, this trade is interesting for Los Angeles as it brings in Westbrook to go along with LeBron James and Anthony Davis to try and make another run at an NBA title while bringing Westbrook back to his hometown of Los Angeles.
The trio of Westbrook, James and Davis should be viewed as one of the more dominant Big Three’s in the league and has likely been the type of move the Lakers were looking to make after an early exit in the playoffs in 2021.
Westbrook, who averaged 22.2 points, 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds in 65 games in 2020-21, provides a balanced approach with his game and can take things over offensively while also taking a back seat to other players if needed. That will be a valuable asset to now have for Los Angeles with the likes of James and Davis also heavily involved.
Coming soon…. pic.twitter.com/8nVCqoMC2T
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 29, 2021
Did LAL Sacrifice Too Much Depth?
On the other side of the trade, the Lakers are going to be losing a decent amount of depth with Kuzma, Harrell and Caldwell-Pope now all on their way out. All three played decent roles in the rotation last year and it will be interesting to see how Los Angeles back fills those open spots in free agency or other avenues.
The Lakers have floated Kuzma’s name out in trade talks in the past, as has been the case with Caldwell-Pope to some extent, so those two players being part of the deal isn’t all that surprising.
I wouldn’t at all be surprised if this ended with Harrell and Kuzma on the Kings; Schröder, KCP and 22 on the Wizards; and Russ and Hield on the Lakers. https://t.co/3s8Qk52X24
— Christian Rivas (@RadRivas) July 29, 2021
The Lakers roster is far from finalized following the trade of three players and a draft pick in exchange for Westbrook, and their depth took a hit as they now have some work to do to this offseason to fill in some holes deeper in the rotation.
But the trio of Westbook, James and Davis will be one of the more dominant Big Three’s in the NBA this season as Los Angeles tries to make another championship when the new year tips off.