A number of teams have spoken to the point guard as he mulls a potential buyout from the Jazz.
Russell Westbrook was sent to the Jazz in a three-team deal ahead of the trade deadline, which netted the Lakers D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt, and sent Mike Conley Jr. to the Timberwolves. However, there is a chance that he’ll be bought out and continue his career elsewhere.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, four teams have been in discussions with Westbrook, with Utah’s permission. The Bulls, Clippers, Heat and Westbrook’s former team, the Wizards, are among those franchises, though there is also a chance that he plays out the final year of his deal with the Jazz.
Wojnarowski says that Westbrook and the teams he is considering are both examining what his fit may be within those rosters.
Chicago and Washington are both on the fringes of the playoff race, with the Wizards currently in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, and the Bulls in 11th. Miami is in 7th, half a game behind New York for the final non-play-in round spot.
The Clippers are the team on the most solid footing of the four named by Wojnarowski. At 32–28, they are in fifth place in the Western Conference, and a few L.A. players have been very open about wanting Westbrook to come into the fold.
“If it makes sense and obviously it goes with our team, we’re all for it,” Paul George, a former Thunder teammate of Westbrook’s, said over the weekend. “You know, we need a point guard. But you know, [at] the same [time], I think we’re good as well. If nothing happened, we got enough in this locker room to be able to make it work.
“But it would definitely improve our team if we had that traditional point guard to kind of get us in things and make the game easy. So hopefully Russell sees this and we figure something out.”