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Los Angeles Clippers have won Russell Westbrook buyout sweepstakes

After being traded to the Utah Jazz earlier this month, Russell Westbrook is expected to join the Los Angeles Clippers this week after finalizing the terms of a buyout in the coming days.

Russell Westbrook has been rumored to be on the trade block since the summer. However, the Los Angeles Lakers had serious trouble moving the one-time NBA MVP due to his poor play in 2021-2022, and the massive price tag left on his contract for this season.

However, a couple of days before the Feb. 9 trade deadline, the team was finally able to find a trade partner willing to the 34-year-old for the rest of the season in the Utah Jazz. Since the deal was made, the Jazz were expected to buy out the final months of his contract and allowed the nine-time All-Star to speak with several teams in advance of a potential agreement.

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Well, it looks like the team that pursued Russell Westbrook the most aggressively, the Los Angeles Clippers have landed the star guard. On Monday, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Westbrook chose the Clippers over teams like the Heat and Bulls after in-depth conversations about his possible with head coach Ty Lue and president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank.

What adding Russell Westbrook means for the Los Angeles Clippers

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Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Adding Russell Westbrook is a major coup for the Los Angeles Clippers. The point guard position has been problematic for them all season and is even more so now after the team traded away veterans John Wall and Reggie Jackson at the NBA trade deadline.

  • Russell Westbrook stats (’22-’23): 15.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 7.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 30% 3PT

While he is not a typical floor general point guard, he is still a massive upgrade over Terance Mann — even at this point in his career — and still is more in line with what they need from the position going forward. Furthermore, he will be motivated by no longer playing a sixth-man role and being able to stick it to the Lakers while still playing in the same city and trying to build his value for one final big contract this summer.

The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers next face off on April 5 in a game that very well could be make-or-break for the Lakers’ playoff hopes in 2023.

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