The aftershocks of Russell Westbrook trade: LA Lakers' salary situation, signed players and what it means for Buddy Hield and DeMar DeRozan 

Russell Westbrook #4 goes up against Dennis Schroder #12
Russell Westbrook #4 goes up against Dennis Schroder #12

The LA Lakers made headlines on Thursday with a massive trade that will bring Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles.

The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania had earlier reported the deal between the two teams. It has since become apparent that Rob Pelinka, the LA Lakers’ vice president of basketball operations and general manager, will have to work overtime this offseason to fill out their roster. The Lakers don't have much to work with financially this time around, which is bound to influence their decisions.

Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the Lakers’ No. 22 pick in Thursday night's NBA draft were sent to Washington. The LA Lakers also received the Wizards’ 2024 and 2028 second-round picks in return, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Russell Westbrook trade to LA Lakers not yet officially finalized

According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Russell Westbrook trade has a chance to expand further until it becomes official.

“There is an expectation that the Lakers' acquisition of Russell Westbrook may not be completed until the new league calendar year, similar to the NOLA-MEM trade, and it could even be finalized as a larger, multi-team deal during free agency, according to league sources,” Fischer explained in a tweet.

There’s about a week until this deal is officially cemented in stone. This means it is still malleable and other teams may become involved between now and August 6, when the NBA’s 2021-22 salary-cap year officially begins.

Russell Westbrook thanked the Wizards in a recent tweet, bidding farewell to the city and the franchise after just one season with them.

Aftershock #1: The LA Lakers roster

Russell Westbrook

LeBron James

Alfonzo McKinnie

Anthony Davis

Marc Gasol

That’s right. The LA Lakers only have five players under contract once the trade has become official, while the rest are free agents.

Dennis Schroder (Unrestricted free agent)

Alex Caruso (UFA)

Ben McLemore (UFA)

Talen Horton-Tucker (Restricted free agent)

Wesley Matthews (UFA)

Jared Dudley (UFA)

Kostas Antetokounmpo (RFA)

Markieff Morris (UFA)

Andre Drummond (UFA)

Devontae Cacok (RFA)

With so many free agents, the LA Lakers will have to think long and hard about how to remain a competitive team next season.

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Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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