Clippers got ‘everything’ they hoped for in Russell Westbrook
The Los Angeles Clippers officially inked star point guard Russell Westbrook to a two-year, $7.8 million deal.
Westbrook’s deal holds a roughly $4 million player option for next season.
Westbrook’s return brings much-needed backcourt balance and production aboard. Team president Lawrence Frank underlined the former league MVP’s impact he’s made in his short time with the franchise.
“In the two months, Russ spent with the team, he was everything we hoped he would be and more,” Frank said in the team’s press release. “He made a huge impact on the court, with his play, and off it, with the urgency, intensity and professionalism he brings to the gym on a daily basis.”
Westbrook quickly fit into the fold, providing offensive production behind scoring and playmaking as a passer. In 21 games, he averaged 15.8 points, 7.6 assists, and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 48.9 percent from the floor and 35.6 percent from beyond the arc.
The nine-time All-Star’s presence brought much-needed production, especially with the short-handed roster due to injury. He took his play up another notch in the playoffs, averaging 23.6 points, 7.4 assists, and 7.6 rebounds while shooting 35.7 percent from 3-point range in the six games in the first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns.
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It includes two 30-point outings while shooting above 55 percent twice. Westbrook served as an offensive centerpiece, especially after Kawhi Leonard suffered his knee injury.
The Clippers will significantly lean on Westbrook with Leonard likely to miss most if not all of next season due to a torn meniscus in his right knee.