Report: Clippers Holding Conversations With Jazz Guard Russell Westbrook

Feb 16, 2023, 9:46 AM | Updated: 9:53 am

SALT LAKE CITY – The Los Angeles Clippers have started conversations with Utah Jazz guard Russell Westbrook on a potential role with the franchise, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The NBA insider reported the discussions between the Clippers and Westbrook on Thursday, February 16.

Utah acquired Westbrook from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a three-team deal involving Mike Conley prior to the NBA trade deadline a week earlier. Since then, the Jazz have given Westbrook permission to seek an opportunity with another organization or remain with the Jazz for the rest of the season.

“The Los Angeles Clippers have begun conversations with Russell Westbrook, sources tell me and @LawMurrayTheNU,” Charania tweeted. “Clippers received permission to speak to Westbrook and talks have started among franchise officials.”

A day before Charania’s report, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said that Westbrook has communicated with the Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, and Miami Heat.

RELATED: What Are Jazz Getting In Westbrook, Toscano-Anderson, Jones?

Following the trade, Jazz general manager Justin Zanik said the team didn’t have any definitive plans for Westbrook but that the high-profile guard was open to playing for Utah

“We are open to all sorts of possibilities with him,” Zanik said. “He has been very positive on being here in Utah and we’ve been very open to the possibilities of him…This is the first time in his career he has been in a position like this and we wanted to be very transparent of where we are as an organization. He’s been very open to different roles in that, and so we’re just giving him some time and continuing to talk.”

Westbrook has been a strong candidate to be bought out by the Jazz which would him to sign with another team looking to make a run to the playoffs. In order to play in the postseason for another team, Westbrook would need to be waived by the Jazz before March 1.

“There haven’t been any possibilities eliminated,” Zanik said of Westbrook. “But he’s been great. He’s been great to talk to, he’s such a professional and actually very complimentary of the Jazz and the organization and is open to being here.”

Shortly after Westbrook was sent to the Jazz, Clippers star and former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate of Westbrook, Paul George, voiced his desire to play with the former NBA MVP again.

This season, Westbrook is averaging 15.9 points per game. Westbrook’s scoring output is coming off the bench but it’s also the lowest average since his rookie campaign in 2008-09.

The former UCLA standout was selected as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. In 2017, Westbrook won the league’s MVP award. During his career, the nine-time NBA All-Star has played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Lakers.

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Report: Clippers Holding Conversations With Jazz Guard Russell Westbrook