When he joined the Los Angeles Clippers toward the end of last season, Russell Westbrook finally found a nice fit. Westbrook was eventually traded to the Utah Jazz at the deadline and then soon released after losing his starter position and being the focus of ongoing trade rumors with the Los Angeles Lakers to start the season. The seasoned guard joined the Clippers, where he reclaimed a starting position and surprised everyone by standing out in the 2023 NBA Playoffs.
Westbrook may not be among the league's top players any longer, but he showed he can still contribute in games with a lot on the line by averaging 23.6 points per contest in LA's first-round series against the Phoenix Suns. After the playoffs, Westbrook had finished the five-year, $205 million contract he had originally agreed to with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017 and had turned professional as a free agent.
Westbrook decided to re-sign with the Clippers after spending time there and doing so while accepting the greatest pay cut in league history. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Westbrook and the Clippers reached a two-year, $7.9 million agreement on Saturday. Westbrook's new contract represents the largest pay decrease in history after he earned about $47 million in salary previous season.
Westbrook tops Blake Griffin's $30 million pay reduction from a couple years ago.
Could Westbrook have earned more money by playing for a another team? It is doable. In any case, there were several reasons why the Clippers were a better fit than any other team. Westbrook, a native of Los Angeles, attended UCLA for his undergraduate studies. When Kawhi Leonard and Paul George suffered injuries, he gave the Clippers offense another highly effective creator. He also added the vital elements of speed and rim pressure.
Before the start of the upcoming season, will James Harden join Westbrook on the Clippers? After selecting his $36.5 million player option, Harden asked the Philadelphia 76ers for a trade, and LA is said to be his preferred destination. Harden and Westbrook worked together in both Houston and Oklahoma City.
Whether or whether Westbrook starts for the Clippers the upcoming season, he will have a significant impact. Perhaps, with this price tag, fans will once more begin to focus less on Westbrook's flaws and more on his talents.