Russell Westbrook may end the season with the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards or Miami Heat, having already communicated with all 4 groups, based on ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
In an look on “NBA Countdown” on Wednesday, Wojnarowski mentioned that the Utah Jazz, who acquired Westbrook’s $47.1 million expiring contract earlier than the commerce deadline, have given the 34-year-old guard and his agent permission to talk with groups who’re concerned with signing him after a buyout. Wojnarowski added that not one of the groups are in a rush, and that Westbrook and his potential suitors are “making an attempt to get a way of what a task would appear like.”
Hm. What do you consider this information, Russ?
Previously, reviews indicated that the Bulls and Heat have been Westbrook’s possible touchdown spots. Washington is an attention-grabbing potential vacation spot as a result of Westbrook had a powerful second half of the season there two years in the past, but it surely’s additionally a wierd one — since Jan. 18, the Wizards have had the perfect offense within the NBA (122 factors per 100 possessions), however their protection has been common at finest this season. They aren’t precisely in want of an offense-first, high-volume, low-efficiency shot creator.
On Thursday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Law Murray additionally reported that the Clippers have talked to Westbrook, with Utah’s permission. Former teammate Paul George publicly lobbied for them to signal him, but it surely’s unclear if the entrance workplace has critical curiosity in taking place that street. In separate press conferences earlier than and after the commerce deadline, workforce president Lawrence Frank emphasised that they weren’t essentially in search of a “level guard,” however reasonably gamers who will not be performed off the ground defensively and take a number of the playmaking burden off of their stars with out being ball-dominant themselves. Frank additionally mentioned that he would sit down with coach Tyronn Lue and talk about their choices on the buyout market.
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Westbrook is a nine-time All-Star, a former MVP and a future Hall of Famer. In his fifteenth season, he can nonetheless put strain on the rim, push the tempo in transition and get triple-doubles. He is a tough match, although, as a result of he wants the ball in his arms and has not been environment friendly with it. In 52 video games with the Los Angeles Lakers this season, Westbrook had a 27.6 % utilization price and a 49.6 % true taking pictures proportion. Among all of the gamers within the high 100 in utilization, solely he and Cade Cunningham (who performed 12 video games earlier than having season-ending surgical procedure) have a real taking pictures proportion beneath 50 %.
Both the Wizards and the Clippers may put 4 shooters subsequent to Westbrook, giving him an surroundings way more conducive to success than the one he was in with the Lakers. He would possibly want that, although, greater than both of these groups wants him.
According to Wojnarowski, it’s not one hundred pc sure that Westbrook will take a buyout and discover a new workforce over the All-Star break. He may as an alternative resolve to complete the season beneath contract with the Jazz, then discover his choices in free company in the summertime.
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