Russell Westbrook intends to sign with LA Clippers
- February 22, 2023
According to his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, nine-time All-Star guard Russell Westbrook intends to sign with the LA Clippers following the completion of a contract buyout.
The former NBA MVP will return to Los Angeles, this time with the Clippers, after finalizing the buyout of the remaining $47 million from his expiring contract with the Utah Jazz. The league made the announcement that the Jazz had officially waived him on Monday afternoon.
According to sources, a series of conversations with Westbrook by team officials, including coach Ty Lue and president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, piqued the interest of the Clippers. According to sources, those discussions revolved around Westbrook’s willingness to play a clear and specific role with the Clippers that was based on his playmaking, rebounding, and toughness.
Westbrook, 34, will join a Clippers team that wants to win a championship and includes Paul George, who used to play for the Thunder.
In recent days, Westbrook had talked about signing deals with the Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, and Miami Heat. However, sources said that the Clippers were a big factor in his decision to stay in Los Angeles and compete for a championship.
As part of a three-team deal on Wednesday, the Jazz received Westbrook in exchange for a 2027 first-round draft pick from the Los Angeles Lakers. Westbrook took some time off from his tumultuous first season with the Lakers to unwind and consider his options. For the Lakers, Westbrook took on a sixth man role and played 28.7 minutes per game, averaging 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists.
According to sources, Jazz CEO Danny Ainge, general manager Justin Zanik, and coach Will Hardy told Westbrook on Friday that they would welcome him reporting to the team. However, the organization would not provide any assurances regarding the number of minutes played or the size of the role, as it was prioritizing and playing its younger players.