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Why Russell Westbrook should stay a clipper Russell Westbrook with team USA

By James McVaney—

For polarizing NBA Point Guard Russell Westbrook,  the last two seasons have been anything but stable. The former MVP began the 2021 season on the Lakers and played there for a turbulent year and a half before being traded to the Clippers on Feb. 23, 2023. 

Questions were raised about if Westbrook could still perform at the level needed to contribute in the NBA. However, Westbrook returned to form with the Clippers, leading an injured team without Kwahi Leanord or Paul George to a hard-fought series loss against the top-heavy Phoenix Suns. Averaging 23.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.4 assists throughout the series, Westbrook proved he was still capable of performing at the highest level. 

This has created a favorable situation for Westbrook, as his performance has expanded his options and has given him new opportunities for where he may want to play next year. Among these suitors are the Clippers, who would be glad to welcome Westbrook back. 

In an article titled, “Clippers President Lawrence Frank Says They Want to Re-sign Russell Westbrook in Free Agency” by James Herbert of CBS Sports, the Clippers President of basketball operations, Lawrence Frank, described his organization’s stance towards Westbrook, “I know (Clippers Coach) Ty Lue loved coaching him. Our guys loved having him as a teammate. We’d love to bring Russ back. But he’s a free agent, and that will be obviously a choice he’s earned.” 

As such, the Clippers seem the early favorites for Westbrook’s services next season, however, other potential suitors will surface once the off-season kicks into full gear. In the same article, “Clippers President Lawrence Frank Says They Want to Re-sign Russell Westbrook in Free Agency” by James Herbert of CBS Sports, Clippers coach Ty Lue gave his two cents on Westbrook’s pending free agency.

“This has opened eyes for a lot of the teams, give him an opportunity if he can go out there and really get paid,” Lue said. “But I want him back, for sure,” Lue said. 

Despite the increasing number of options, the choice seems clear for Westbrook. Remain a Clipper. Remain somewhere that enjoys having you and values your services. And if the words of Clipper’s coach Ty Lue and President of Basketball Operations Frank Lawrence are to be taken seriously, then the Clippers do value Westbrook’s ability, highly. Throughout his career, Westbrook has thrived when comfortable. As such, stability and feeling valued should be important factors in where Westbrook will play next year, as well as the potential to win a championship. The Clippers check all the boxes, given they can stay healthy for a full postseason. It just makes the most sense for Westbrook.

A decision is imminent, expect teams who are looking for an established point guard to target Westbrook’s signature. Teams who were eyeing a move for Westbrook prior to his trade to the Clippers include the Bulls, Heat, Raptors and Bucks. However, the list will be much longer this summer, considering Westbrook’s status as a free agent. Wherever he ends up, Westbrook has been one of the top competitors in the NBA for the past decade, and he will be sure to carry that tenacity and ability to whichever team he tackles the court with next season.

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