The Los Angeles Lakers managed to deal Russell Westbrook prior to the trade deadline earlier this week, and he’s widely expected to hit the buyout market in the near future.
One team that appears to be in the running to snag the former MVP if he does end up getting bought out is the Los Angeles Clippers.
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) February 9, 2023
However, one recent report indicates that Westbrook may have some hesitancy to sign with the Clippers because they share Crypto.com Arena with the Lakers.
“The Clippers also have been mentioned as a potential suitor — though sources told Hoops Wire that after playing in his hometown of LA, and having it not work out, Westbrook may welcome a chance to play in an arena that’s not shared by the Lakers,” Sam Amico wrote.
It makes sense from Westbrook’s perspective. If he’s got other suitors in the NBA who could be good fits, there’s no need to subject himself to potentially remembering what was a pretty tough tenure with the Lakers.
Truthfully, the fact that things went sour for Westbrook in L.A. cannot be considered all his fault. Immediately after the trade to acquire Westbrook was made prior to the 2021-22 regular season, many fans and experts alike agreed that the pairing did not seem like a good one.
Throughout his entire career, Westbrook has been a player that needs the ball in his hands to play at his best. That made the pairing of him and LeBron James a dubious one.
Moreover, Westbrook has never been known as a stellar shooter. After he joined the Lakers, shooting immediately became an issue.
For Westbrook, the hope surely is that he will be able to join a team where he can get back to his old self. While he’d likely prefer to start with whatever team he ends up with, he has already shown a willingness to come off the bench.
It will be interesting to see if another other suitors emerge if Westbrook is bought out by the Utah Jazz.
In his two seasons with the Lakers, Westbrook averaged 17.4 points, 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game.