Three-Team Trade between Lakers, Jazz, and Timberwolves Results in Significant Roster Changes
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a three-team trade involving the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, and Minnesota Timberwolves is nearing completion before the NBA’s February 9 deadline.
The Timberwolves are getting Mike Conley, and three second-round picks from the Lakers in exchange for D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt. Utah will acquire Russell Westbrook and Los Angeles’ first-round protected pick in 2027.
The Lakers are sending Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones to the Jazz, while the Jazz is sending Nickeil Alexander-Walker to the Timberwolves. According to Wojnarowski, Minnesota will also receive the second-round pick in 2024, the lesser of Washington’s and Memphis’, as well as the second-round choices in 2025 and 2026 from Utah.
To begin making sense of everything, let’s check out the current rosters for each squad.
Los Angeles Lakers Roster
PG: D’Angelo Russell, Dennis Schröder, Patrick Beverley, Scotty Pippen Jr.
SG: Malik Beasley, Austin Reaves, Lonnie Walker IV, Max Christie
SF: LeBron James, Troy Brown Jr., Cole Swider
PF: Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, Wenyen Gabriel
C: Anthony Davis, Thomas Bryant,
Minnesota Timberwolves Roster
PG: Mike Conley, Jordan McLaughlin
SG: Anthony Edwards, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Bryn Forbes, Jaylen Nowell, Austin Rivers
SF: Kyle Anderson, Matt Ryan, Josh Minott
PF: Karl-Anthony Towns, Jaden McDaniels, Taurean Prince
C: Rudy Gobert, Naz Reid, Luka Garza
Utah Jazz Roster
PG: Russell Westbrook, Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton
SG: Talen Horton-Tucker, Ochai Agbaji, Leandro Bolmaro
SF: Rudy Gay, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Simone Fontecchio
PF: Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk
C: Micah Potter, Udoka Azubuike, Damian Jones, Walker Kessler
The Lakers’ primary takeaway from this deal is the addition of Russell, who will likely start at point guard for the team moving forward. Russell has had a mixed season, but in 54 games for Minnesota, he has averaged 17.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 6.2 assists on 46.5% shooting from the field and 39.1% from deep.
Russell, who was taken second overall by the Lakers in the 2015 draft and played for them for the first two years of his career before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets in 2017, is returning to the team where he got his start.
The Lakers have added three players (Russell, Beasley, and Vanderbilt) who are 26 or younger and whom they believe can help them compete this season and in the future.
The Lakers have strengthened their shooting guard position with Beasley’s addition. His season stats for the Jazz were 13.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 39.6 percent shooting from the field, and 35.9 percent from deep in 55 games off the bench.
The addition of Vanderbilt strengthens Los Angeles’ bench. He played in all 52 games for Utah this season, averaging 8.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists on 55.6% field goal shooting and 33.3% from three-point range.
Conley, on the other hand, provides a solid complement to Anthony Edwards in Minnesota. In 43 games for the Jazz this season, he averaged 10.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 7.7 assists on 40.8% shooting from the field and 36.2% from deep.
Alexander-Walker will give the Timberwolves more options at shooting guard. In 36 games this year, he contributed an average of 6.3 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists for the Jazz while shooting 48.8 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from deep.
For the Jazz, the acquisition of Westbrook, who had been the Clippers’ sixth man this year, provides them with a primary ball-handler. Westbrook played 52 games for the Purple and Gold, averaging 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists on 41.7 percent shooting from the floor and 29.6 percent from deep.
However, TNT and B/Chris R’s Haynes reported that the Jazz would likely buy out Westbrook’s contract, suggesting that Westbrook’s time in Salt Lake City may be short-lived. According to Haynes, the veteran point guard has drawn interest from the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Clippers should that occur.
Furthermore, Utah now has more options at the small forward and center positions thanks to the additions of Toscano-Anderson and Jones. Both were depth players for the Lakers this season, but they could see more action with the Jazz.
The NBA Updates three-team trade involving the Lakers, Jazz, and Timberwolves appears to have reshaped the rosters of each team significantly. The Lakers have gained D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt, all of whom are 26 years old or younger and have the potential to help the team compete now and in the future. The addition of Russell, in particular, brings the point guard position back to the Lakers, and they have also strengthened their shooting guard position with Beasley’s acquisition.
Minnesota has acquired Mike Conley, who should complement Anthony Edwards, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who gives the Timberwolves more options at shooting guard. Meanwhile, Utah has gained Russell Westbrook, who provides them with a primary ball-handler, but his time with the Jazz may be short-lived as he could be bought out.
Overall, this trade has had a significant impact on the rosters of each team, and it will be interesting to see how they perform for the remainder of the season and beyond.