As Russell Westbrook considers his next move while he waits for an impending buyout from the Utah Jazz, he and the Clippers are reportedly taking steps toward a possible future together.
According to The Athletic, the Clippers are among several teams that have received permission to speak to the former Laker and talks have already begun, as a meeting was held in which “the two parties communicated what Westbrook’s role could be.”
The veteran point guard reportedly plans to meet with Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. George has already publicly campaigned for the team to add Westbrook, a move teammate Marcus Morris Sr. said he agreed with. Leonard, George and Westbrook all grew up in Southern California, and George and Westbrook previously played together in Oklahoma City.
The Jazz acquired Westbrook from the Lakers last week as part of a three-team trade that also involved the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 34-year-old former league MVP reportedly wants to secure his next destination before parting ways with Utah, which would then buy out whatever remains on his $47.1 million contract for this season.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this week that Westbrook has received permission to speak with the Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards and Miami Heat in addition to the Clippers, who are in fourth place in the Western Conference and appear to offer him the best chance to compete for an NBA title.
The nine-time All-Star and NBA record holder for career triple-doubles (198), Westbrook would provide veteran depth at point guard alongside Terance Mann and newly acquired Bones Hyland.
It remains to be seen whether the Clippers and Westbrook will come to an agreement.
CLIPPERS WAIVE BROWN
The Clippers waived center Moses Brown on Friday, the team announced.
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Brown, 23, has appeared in 34 games with one start this season, averaging 4.6 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 63.5% from the field. Since he was on a two-way contract, the Clippers had to decide whether to sign him to an end-of-season deal or waive him after he was activated for the 50th time for Thursday night’s game against Phoenix.
The 7-foot-2 center has appeared in 126 career games, averaging 5.6 points and 5.3 rebounds with the Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Clippers.
The Clippers also signed Ontario guard Nate Darling to a two-way contract. Darling averaged 21.4 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 46.4% from the field for the Clippers’ G League squad.