According to Jeff Schwartz, Excel Sports’ agent, Russell Westbrook, a nine-time All Star guard, will sign with the LA Clippers after he has completed a contract buyout.
The buyout of the $47 million remaining on Westbrook’s expiring contract with the Utah Jazz has been completed by Westbrook and the Clippers. This will allow the former NBA MVP to return to Los Angeles. The league announced that he was officially released by the Jazz Monday afternoon.
Sources say that Westbrook became more interested in the Clippers as team officials including Ty Lue, president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank began to have conversations with Westbrook. Sources said that those conversations revolved around Westbrook’s willingness and ability to play a specific role for the Clippers, based on his playmaking, rebounding, and toughness.
Westbrook, who is 34 years old, will be joining a Clippers team that has championship aspirations. It also includes Paul George, his Thunder teammate.
Sources said that Westbrook had been in discussions with the Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat over the past few days. However, the opportunity to win a championship while remaining in Los Angeles was a major factor in his decision to pick the Clippers.
In a deal with three teams, the Los Angeles Lakers gave Westbrook and a 2027 draft pick to Jazz. After a turbulent season with the Lakers, Westbrook took some time to reflect on his options and decompress. Westbrook accepted a sixth-man role with the Lakers. He averaged 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game in 28.7 minutes.
Jazz CEO Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik, Jazz’s GM, and Will Hardy, told Westbrook that they were happy for him to report to the team on Friday. However, the organization prioritized and played its younger players and could not give any assurances about their roles or minutes, sources claimed.