Clippers GM: “We Want To Bring Russell Westbrook Back”

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rsz usatsi 20139224 168386351 lowres e1681049614770

Russell Westbrook has had a tough time finding a permanent home in the NBA over the last few seasons, but it looks like he may want to settle in and get comfortable with the Los Angeles Clippers.

After spending the first 11 years of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Westbrook has bounced around since 2019. He spent one full season each with the Rockets and Wizards, and played all of the 2021-22 campaign with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers.

Russell Westbrook Is Wanted Back With The Los Angeles Clippers

But the two decided to part ways halfway through Westbrook’s second season with the team. He was inefficient, putting up some of the worst numbers he ever had as a professional, and fell out of favor with what LeBron James and the Lakers were trying to accomplish. Just before the trade deadline, the Los Angeles shipped him off to the Utah Jazz, with whom he reached a contract buy-out settlement and never suited up for.

It was unclear if there was a team that would be willing to add Russell Westbrook and the on-court baggage that he carries, and it didn’t seem like there would be many title contenders that would come calling.

But that changed when the Los Angeles Clippers signed him through the rest of the season, reuniting him with Paul George whom he played with in OKC.

Clippers Have Serious Decisions To Make During Off-Season

It worked out for both sides. Westbrook started the final 21 games of the season for the Clippers, and his numbers improved slightly in a different role and with a different team. Los Angeles played well enough down the stretch to hold on to the 5th seed in the Western Conference, but had the unfortunate draw of meeting Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns in Round 1.

While most people pictured Westbrook being a short-term rental for the Clippers, it looks as though the team may want him around for next year. When asked about the point guard in his postseason press conference, Clippers general manager Lawrence Frank said that “we want to bring Russell back,” citing his energy and spirit towards the team this year.

How long might he stay? Westbrook will turn 35 next season, and while he is still explosive, he is no longer the player that deserves the massive contract. When he signed with the Clippers for the remainder of 2023, the deal was worth just under $800,000. Don’t be surprised to see him take a small pay cut or discount to remain at home on a team where is finally feels like he has a spot.

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