Update: We’ve seen some more movement for the Lakers, who are now +2800 to win the championship according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The Lakers are also now +1300 to win the West, so it seems like the oddsmakers are liking this trade more and more for the purple and gold.
The Los Angeles Lakers completed a blockbuster deal involving Russell Westbrook, sending the former league MVP to the Utah Jazz as part of a three-team deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers got back D’Angelo Russell, the former No. 2 overall pick of the franchise back in 2015, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley. The Jazz got LA’s 2027 first-round pick, which is top-4 protected. The Timberwolves received Mike Conley and a second-round pick.
This is a huge get for the Lakers, who now have two strong perimeter shooters in Russell and Beasley to provide spacing for LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Russell is also an expiring contract, so the Lakers don’t have much to lose on the long-term books if this fails.
The oddsmakers do believe this trade made the Lakers better, but not by much. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Lakers at +3500 to win the 2023 NBA title, which is up from +4000 before the trade. The Lakers are +1400 to win the West, and they were +1600 before the trade. That’s not a ton of movement, but it is some movement. And when you have a player like James, any positive movement is worth taking.