The Los Angeles Lakers finally managed to unload former MVP point guard Russell Westbrook prior to the trade deadline earlier this month, and while he’s currently a member of the Utah Jazz, there is a widely held belief that he will ultimately be bought out by the team.
If and when that happens, he’ll be free to sign wherever he pleases. According to Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal, Westbrook should strongly consider signing with the Los Angeles Clippers.
O’Neal believes that the fans of that team would actually appreciate the contributions of the veteran guard.
“I think Russ should go to the Clippers,” he said. “Him and Ty Lue speak the same language. … Ty Lue is going to put him in a position to succeed. … I know for the fact that Clippers fans would appreciate him. Lakers fans and Clippers fans are two totally different fan bases.”
There is no question that Westbrook dealt with a lot of criticism from Lakers fans during his two seasons with the team. It was hard to watch at times, as some fans certainly took it too far. Ultimately, the Lakers have had many more problems than just Westbrook over the past couple of years, but he certainly became a scapegoat of sorts in the eyes of the media and the team’s fans.
Westbrook joining the Clippers would certainly be interesting. The team seems interested, and it’s pretty clear that Clippers star Paul George wants him there.
However, Westbrook himself might be hesitant to join the Clippers because they share an arena with the Lakers.
Whatever happens, it seems likely that Westbrook will consider potential quality of life when considering what team he wants to join next. His experience with the Lakers went about as poorly as it could have, and that has to be weighing on him still.
In 130 games with the Lakers, Westbrook put up 17.4 points, 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game. Clearly, he still generates a level of production that can be helpful to teams around the NBA.