The Los Angeles Clippers (31-27) are a few hours until the end of the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline. They have lost out on two point guards they have inquired about in Kyrie Irving and D’Angelo Russell. There is, however, one more point guard that the Clippers are interested in, and that is newly acquired Utah Jazz point guard Russell Westbrook. He was traded to the Jazz in a three-team deal to essentially move on from a disastrous year and a half with the Los Angeles Lakers. It is reported by Chris Haynes that the Jazz will likely buy out Westbrook and that there is mutual interest between the two parties. Now there is reason to believe that this move might happen. Here are three reasons why Russell Westbrook could join the Los Angeles Clippers.
Should Russell Westbrook secure a buyout from the Utah Jazz after the three-team trade is complete, the Los Angeles Clippers are said to have interest in the star guard, league sources tell @NBAonTNT, @BleacherReport.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 9, 2023
Three Reasons Why Russell Westbrook Could Join the L.A. Clippers
The Clippers are Running Out of Options
With Irving and Russell now with their new teams, the Clippers are running out of options for a court general. The Clippers need an actual point guard to help facilitate the offense led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Terance Mann has been an efficient playmaker and has proven to be a key valuable player, but if the team wants an NBA title before the window closes, they need a real point guard. Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet and Miami Heat point guard Kyle Lowry are essentially the remaining options for the Clippers at the one.
The Clippers may not feel comfortable trading away talented assets like Mann just for Lowry, who turns 37 years old in late March. For the Clippers to potentially take a chance on Westbrook for a temporary deal for the remainder of the season, it could be potentially labeled as a last resort at point guard without trading away players.
The Clippers can utilize Russell Westbrook
Since the arrival of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers have not had a reliable passing point guard. Patrick Beverley and Reggie Jackson have been solid in their roles, but they have not been the best passers. Trading for Rajon Rondo was a disaster, and John Wall has not fulfilled expectations. While Westbrook has played rough for the Lakers, he has been a solid driving force to the paint and, and most of all, a good passer. While Westbrook’s numbers are down, he is averaging 7.5 assists per game this season. The top player in assists per game for the Clippers is George, with 5.2 per game. Westbrook can at least get the offense moving and have the two Clipper stars playing well off-ball. One aspect that Westbrook could be better with the Clippers than the Lakers is that he will have more room to attack the basket.
John Wall is Done in Los Angeles
Marc Stein reported on Wednesday night that the Clippers are potentially moving on from point guard John Wall. If the Clippers cannot find a trade partner for Wall, then they are most likely going to buy him out of his contract, thus making him a free agent. There have been some good but not great moments for Wall as a member of the Clippers this season. In 34 games this season, Wall is averaging a career-low in points (11.4), assists (5.2), steals (0.8), and blocks (0.4). On games where Wall has scored at least 15 points, the Clippers are 3-9. Wall has also had a problem with remaining healthy while as a Clipper. He has been out with an abdominal injury since the middle of January. Wall also suffered a knee injury during the season.
John Wall's tenure with the Clippers is nearing an end, league sources say.
Sources say the Clippers are still trying to trade Wall before Thursday's 3 PM ET trade buzzer but are expected to buy out the former All-Star if no deal develops.
More to come: https://t.co/A6ycVmnrjq
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 9, 2023