By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Russell Westbrook is staying in Los Angeles.
After a contract buyout has been finalized between Westbrook and the Utah Jazz, the 2016-2017 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) will be heading to the Los Angeles Clippers once he clears his waivers.
Multiple reports confirmed that Westbrook will only need his waivers cleared before signing with the Clippers for the remainder of the season.
Veteran NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN already announced the development and added that the nine-time NBA All-Star will have a high chance of starting for the Clippers as their main point guard.
“There’s an opportunity for Russell Westbrook to start for this Clippers team. Remember they moved Reggie Jackson they moved out John Wall. They brought in a combo guard Bones Hyland from Denver. I think the opportunity is there for him to start,” said Wojnarowski during his show NBA Today.
Westbrook was shipped by the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA trade deadline and was initially dealt to the Jazz via a three-team swap.
The Lakers received D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt from Minnesota while the Timberwolves land Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker.
Part of the Lakers’ package involving the Jazz are Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, and a 2027 first-round pick.
Before leaving the Lakers, Westbrook is averaging 15.9 points, 7.5 assists, and 6.2 rebounds just before the All-Star break.
The triple-double machine will be reuniting with Paul George, his former teammate at the Oklahoma City Thunder where they formed a big three together with Carmelo Anthony.
Westbrook will have the chance to re-enter the playoffs if the Clippers continue to win their remaining games.
Los Angeles is currently sitting at the no. 4 spot of the Western Conference with a 33-28 win-loss record and is coming off a momentum-boosting win against the Phoenix Suns.