The Minnesota Timberwolves traded for D'Angelo Russell before the 2020 NBA trade deadline with the hope that pairing him with Karl-Anthony Towns would strengthen their chances of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the NBA championship title. Unfortunately, since bringing Russell to Minnesota, the Timberwolves' only greatest achievement was reaching the first round of the playoffs. With Russell already entering the final year of his contract, there are rumors that the Timberwolves could explore moving him this summer.
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D'Angelo Russell Returns To LA Lakers
One of the most intriguing trade destinations for Russell is his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers. In a recent article, Lee Tran of Fadeaway World created a list of five blockbuster trades that the Lakers can execute before the 2022 NBA Draft. These include a hypothetical deal that would enable Russell to return to the Lakers this summer. In the proposed trade scenario, the Timberwolves would be trading Russell, Patrick Beverley, and a 2023 second-round pick to the Lakers in exchange for Russell Westbrook and Talen Horton-Tucker.
Russell Westbrook Joins Forces With Karl-Anthony Towns & Anthony Edwards
The proposed blockbuster deal would be worth exploring for the Timberwolves, especially if they want to take things to the next level next season. Aside from acquiring a young and promising wingman in Horton-Tucker, the suggested trade would also allow them to swap Russell and Beverley for a former MVP and a walking triple-double machine in Westbrook. Westbrook may have gone through plenty of ups and downs last season, but Tran believes he could find success when he shares the floor with Towns and Anthony Edwards.
"Russell Westbrook struggled with the Los Angeles Lakers, but that is in part due to the fact that the roster had mediocre shooters around them," Tran wrote. "When paired up with Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns though, he would likely be able to have open driving lanes due to the two stars' offensive gravity on the perimeter."
Lakers Get Two Veteran Guards
The hypothetical blockbuster deal would be a no-brainer for the Lakers. Aside from successfully unloading Westbrook and his massive salary, the Lakers would also be acquiring two veteran point guards who would man their backcourt next season. Despite struggling to become consistent last season, Russell would still be a much better fit with LeBron James and Anthony Davis than Westbrook.
Russell isn't only a legitimate three-point shooter, but he could also excel in an off-ball capacity. Meanwhile, in Beverley, the Lakers would be getting an elite perimeter defender who could be tasked to guard the likes of Stephen Curry, Devin Booker, Ja Morant, and Luka Doncic next season.
D'Angelo Russell & Patrick Beverley Would Love A Trade To Lakers
Russell may not have shown any sign that he already wants to end his partnership with Towns in Minnesota, but he would definitely be intrigued by the idea of returning to the Lakers. Instead of staying on a mediocre team like the Timberwolves, joining forces with James and Davis in Los Angeles would give Russell a more realistic chance of winning his first NBA championship title next season.
The same thing goes for Beverley. In an appearance on ESPN's This Just In in mid-May, Beverley told Max Kellerman that he "wouldn't even hesitate" to team up with James if he's given the opportunity.