As of right now, former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook is a member of the Utah Jazz after last week’s blockbuster three-team trade with the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.
How long Westbrook will be in Salt Lake City remains to be seen. There’s been multiple reports that the Jazz are looking to buy him out ahead of the March 1 deadline, enabling Westbrook to sign with a contender.
Despite his regressed skillset, Westbrook should still have a solid market. He played pretty well coming off the bench for the first time in his career in Los Angeles prior to the aforementioned trade.
- Russell Westbrook stats (2022-23): 15.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 7.5 APG, 42% shooting
There are certainly some limitations when it comes to the 34-year-old Westbrook. He’s shooting just 30% from distance on the season and is seen as a liability on defense. But that type of production won’t go unnoticed.
Related: Winners and losers from Russell Westbrook blockbuster trade
Russell Westbrook is in talks with four teams after blockbuster trade
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that Westbrook is having ongoing conversations with the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards and Miami Heat about landing with one of those teams.
Of those four, Los Angeles seems to be the least likely fit. Clippers front office head Lawrence Frank has noted that he wants shooting and defense from the point guard position. Those two traits don’t define Westbrook right now.
The Wizards are an intriguing option for Russ. He played with Bradley Beal and Co. back in 2020-21 before being dealt to the Lakers. They certainly have a need a point guard.
The same thing could be said about a Bulls team that has been without starting point guard Lonzo Ball for the entire season. With that said, neither of these two teams are considered legitimate contenders right now. On that note, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Westbrook’s market is slow moving. He could very well have to settle for a mid-tier playoff contender.
It’s certainly something to watch here over the next week or so. Utah has until March 1 to buy Westbrook out if he’s going to be eligible to play in the playoffs.