After being traded by the Lakers and getting bought out by the Jazz, Russell Westbrook plans to sign with the Clippers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The chances of Westbrook making the playoffs has vastly improved by joining the other LA team, as they sit in fourth seed in the West and have elite talent in two-time NBA champion Kawhi Leonard and Westbrook’s former Thunder teammate Paul George.
“The Clippers became increasingly interested with Westbrook as team officials, including coach Ty Lue and president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, dug into a series of conversations with Westbrook, sources said,” Wojnarowski reported. “Those discussions centered on Westbrook’s willingness to fit into a clear and specific role with the Clippers built around his playmaking, rebounding and toughness, sources said.”
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The Clippers were named as a frontrunner for Westbrook once he had reached the Jazz, so the signing doesn’t come as a huge surprise, but it seems the prospect of staying in LA helped him land with the team.
“Westbrook had discussed deals with the Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards and Miami Heat in recent days, but the chance to compete for a championship and remain in Los Angeles played a significant part in his decision to choose the Clippers, sources said,” Wojnarowski continued.
The Clippers GM, coach and CEO said they would welcome Westbrook into the team but that he shouldn’t expect to be prioritized over younger players or play big minutes.