Three years to the day that the Minnesota Timberwolves introduced D’Angelo Russell at Target Center after landing him in a trade, they are in discussions with the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz on a deal that would send Russell back to L.A., Mike Conley to Minnesota and Russell Westbrook to Utah, according to Shams Charania and Tony Jones of The Athletic.
Ongoing discussions have included Utah's Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt as part of the potential three-team deal to the Lakers, sources said. Sides are working through pick protections and additional draft compensation too, per sources. https://t.co/DoI0EBOBVq— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 8, 2023
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that in addition to Conley, Minnesota would be receiving multiple picks. However, Woj added that Utah isn’t just talking with the Wolves about Conley.
Three-way talks with Lakers, Jazz and Timberwolves would potentially land D'Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley with LA, Mike Conley, Jr., and picks with Timberwolves and Russell Westbrook and picks with Jazz, per sources. Jazz remain engaged elsewhere on Conley Jr., too.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2023
The important thing here is that the money is pretty wonky with just Russell, Conley and Westbrook, so there’s more coming.
For Minnesota, they would likely be getting back a player in addition to Conley — potentially Patrick Beverley from the Lakers, who has a documented interested in a return to Minneapolis. That would take the Wolves over the luxury tax line themselves, but they could duck back under if they sent one of Jaylen Nowell, Bryn Forbes or Nate Knight to Utah.
Charania floated Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt as players also involved in the deal, which would ensure that Utah stays beneath the luxury tax line. If Utah sent out Vanderbilt, they would have enough space to take back one of the three aforementioned Wolves players.
Bottom line is that there is likely more to the deal than just the five players Charania offered on Twitter.
The 35-year-old Conley is averaging 10.7 points on 40.8/36.2/81.3 shooting splits, 7.7 assists to 1.7 turnovers, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.0 steals across 29.7 minutes per game across 43 contests this season, and has been a key reason the Jazz surprised everyone with their 10-3 start and have been in the thick of the playoff discussion. Our Jared Martinson wrote last month about why the Timberwolves should have interest in Conley, highlighting his obvious familiarity with Rudy Gobert and leadership at the point guard spot.
A trade would mark the end of a polarizing era in Minnesota for D’Angelo Russell, who was ejected in the third quarter of last night’s loss to the Denver Nuggets while on the bench after Timberwolves Head Coach Chris Finch sat all of his starters in a blowout to save them for tonight’s game in Utah.
This is a developing story and we’ll continue to update you here if and when more information becomes available.
Update as of 4:55 PM CT:
The Wolves are holding up the deal because of concerns over draft compensation, according to Woj:
ESPN Sources: Three-team trade is largely hinging on how Minnesota values D’Angelo Russell in potential deal and their return of draft assets. Lakers and Jazz have significant deal structure in place, but Minnesota has been engaged elsewhere on Russell too.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2023
Teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat have been linked to Russell over the past couple weeks.
Update as of 5:20 PM CT:
Currently, the deal as constructed would send Conley to Minnesota along with “potentially second-round draft compensation”, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
“For the Lakers this would be turning the page on Russell Westbrook … there’s definitely a deal here that has a level of momentum.”— The Rally (@TheRally) February 8, 2023
NBA Insider @ShamsCharania reports on the potential three-team trade between the Lakers, Jazz and Timberwolves. pic.twitter.com/lRc8IqxcN2
Update as of 5:35 PM CT:
Beverley landing back in Minnesota is in play, according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Wolfson clarified that Pat Bev could return, but would have to be bought out first.
Bev ultimately landing back here, as I said, is in play.— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) February 8, 2023
The Lakers could buy Beverley out, clearing the way for him to return to the Wolves if there was an open roster spot for him. Presently, Minnesota is using all 15 roster spots and both two-way contract slots.
Update as of 6:20 PM CT:
Minnesota is still hung up on the compensation they would receive for Russell, according to Woj, but he has shifted his language to now categorizes things as being in an “advanced stage.”
Woj just said on ESPN that negotiations with this three-team trade between LA, Utah and Minnesota is in an “advanced stage.” Confirms that Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt would go to the Lakers.— Adam Aaronson (@SixersAdam) February 9, 2023
Sounds like the only roadblock now is Minnesota getting further compensation.
Update as of 7:20 PM CT
The trade details are being finalized and Woj is reporting that the Wolves are acquiring Conley, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and three second-round picks from the Jazz: 2024 that is the worse pick between Washington and Memphis, plus 2025 and 2026 second-rounders from Utah.
All-in-all, a very solid haul for the Wolves, who will have to clear a roster spot to make room for Alexander-Walker.
ESPN Sources: The Lakers are finalizing deal to land Minnesota’s D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in trade including Mike Conley and picks to Timberwolves and Russell Westbrook and a lightly protected 2027 LA first-round pick to Jazz.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2023
Minnesota gets 2024 lesser of Washington-Memphis second round pick and 2025 and 2026 second-round picks via Utah, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2023