According to Eric Pincus’, the future of the veteran point guard Russell Westbrook with the Los Angeles Clippers could be in question due to financial constraints. Westbrook has been a great player for both the Lakers as well as the Clippers during the playoffs. However, he does not have a contract with the Clippers at the moment and could look elsewhere.
The Clippers, due to their huge payroll and the upcoming rule changes, are only able to offer Westbrook 120% more than the minimum salary. They will not be able to use their mid-level taxpayer exception that has a starting salary of $5 million.
Westbrook may resign with the Clippers in 2024 and wait to receive early Bird rights that would pay him in the range of $12 million. Pincus, however, suggests that Westbrook could instead look for opportunities with a team having cap space or non-taxpayer middle-level exceptions, which are approximately $12.2 million.
Pincus wrote that the Clippers are only able to pay him 120 percent more than the minimum salary. Westbrook can re-sign with the Clippers and wait for an additional year to earn early Bird rights, which could be worth up to $12 million in 2024. Westbrook will likely look elsewhere for a chance to play on a team that has cap space, or an exception for non-taxpayers at the mid-level (roughly $12.22 million ).”
Pincus has named a number of teams as potential bidders to acquire Westbrook. These include the Bulls and Hornets. These teams could be able to move quickly to acquire Westbrook if he decides to continue. Pincus points out that the 34 year-old guard may not be as appealing to teams with cap space.
Westbrook scored 15,9 points on average, had 7.5 assists and 5.8 rebounds, in 73 combined games with the Clippers, Lakers and other teams. He shot 44% from the floor and 31% of 3-pointers. The Clippers had a good showing in the playoffs but the Suns eliminated them in five games during the first round of Western Conference playoffs.
The Clippers could be affected if Russel westbrook leaves.
Russel Westbrook’s decision to leave the Clippers could have a significant impact on the future of the team. Westbrook only stayed with the Clippers for a short time, but he was an important contributor and a valuable veteran leader to the team. Losing Westbrook would create a gap in the rotation of the team that needs to be filled.
The Clippers need to find alternative solutions as the possibility of Westbrook leaving looms. Re-signing Reggie Jackson who will also be a free agent in the offseason, could be one possible option. They could also explore other options in the market, such as free agency and trade.
Westbrook’s choice will have a major impact on the future of the Clippers. If Westbrook leaves, the Clippers will need to take a smart approach in building their roster. They have championship ambitions for next season.