For the second time in less than a year, Russell Westbrook is on the move.
This time, he's coming home.
After spending the first 13 years of his career in the Southwest and last season in our nation's capital, the former UCLA guard has been traded from the Washington Wizards to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft. The Athletic's Shams Charania was the first to report the deal.
Los Angeles will also be receiving 2024 and 2028 second round picks along with Westbrook.
The Lakers now have LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook set to appear in their starting lineup, attempting to recapture the NBA Championship after winning it in 2020. Westbrook's teams have not advanced past the Eastern or Western Conference Finals since 2016.
Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the fourth time in five seasons this year, putting up 22.2 points, 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds per game. A nine-time All-Star, three-time assist champion, two-time scoring champion and 2016-2017 MVP, Westbrook has nearly every professional accomplishment under his belt besides a championship ring.
Born in Long Beach, California, Westbrook played at Leuzinger High School before going to hometown UCLA for college ball.
Westbrook mostly rode the bench his freshman year, but helped the Bruins return to the Final Four in 2008 by averaging 12.7 points and 4.3 assists per game. The Seattle Supersonics – which soon became the Oklahoma City Thunder – selected Westbrook with the No. 4 overall pick in that year's NBA Draft.
A one-year stint with the Houston Rockets and another with the Washington Wizards flipped Westbrook's career on its head, as his max contract continued to get passed around the league.
Regardless, Westbrook is back in Los Angeles, looking to win the championship that narrowly alluded him the last time he played for a team in town.
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