After finalizing a contract buyout with the Utah Jazz, nine-time All-Star guard Russell Westbrook plans to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, his agent Jeff Schwartz of @excelbasketball tells ESPN. pic.twitter.com/OjZ0Mkuz5x— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 20, 2023
For Westbrook, this is an exciting opportunity to join a Clippers team that is playing at a high level with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard now playing regular minutes. This season Leonard is playing at a high level once again, the question will be can he stay on the floor once the playoffs start. Across from Leonard is Paul George has had another all-star season.
Because of that high-level play, this is a big risk for the Clippers. The pros and cons of having Westbrook will always be the same. With the ball in his hands he has the chance to be a dynamic player, the issue becomes how do you make sure the ball is getting to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George enough. If Westbrook can come in and mostly set up his teammates, this has the potential to be a great thing. The question is, can Westbrook do that? If it goes back to him taking too many shots at low efficiency, this will fall apart quickly. It will be fascinating to see how this goes.
For the Jazz, they come out of this whole scenario with a highly valued Lakers pick and an extra roster spot. Things could change, and the Jazz will likely make other roster moves, but this does appear to prepare them for the 3 draft picks they’re about to bring onto the team.
All in all, this was a great process for the Jazz. The talks with Westbrook appeared smooth and both sides appear happy with the outcome.