Russell Westbrook to stay in LA and return to the Clippers

Russell Westbrook will stay in his hometown and will return to the Los Angeles Clippers, it was reported Saturday. 

ESPN reported the nine-time All-Star picked up his $4 million player option and will return to the Clippers. However, Law Murray of the Athletic said the situation continues to develop and that he could be moved elsewhere before next season. 

Shortly after the Clips made a blockbuster move for James Harden at the start of last season, Westbrook volunteered to move to the bench and found his playing time diminished. 

Westbrook could still aim to find another suitor where he'll get more guaranteed playing time.

During the 2023-24 season, he averaged 11.1 points, 4.5 assists and 5 rebounds. 

Westbrook had an immediate impact on the Clippers, bringing passion as the vocal leader of the locker room. 

Hitting the ground running, he proved he’s got plenty of gas left in the tank and shined in the Clippers’ 2023 first-round playoff series.

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Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Clippers. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

After a disastrous tenure with the other NBA team in LA, the Clippers picked him up after he was waived by the Utah Jazz following a three-team trade in Feb. 2023. 

The Clippers also made moves around that time and added Eric Gordon, Bones Hyland, and Mason Plumlee to the roster. Clippers’ fan-favorite Reggie Jackson was traded along with Luke Kennard. 

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Desperate for draft picks after the Paul George trade, the Clippers acquired Hyland from Denver in exchange for two second-round picks in 2024 and 2025.

Westbrook continues to develop his legacy on and off the court. 

The basketball court at Jesse Owens Park, the very place where he grew up playing hoops, was named in his honor for all the work he’s done and continues to do in South Los Angeles. 

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His Why Not Foundation? hosts events year-round to feed those in need. In addition, Westbrook High School is set to open its second location in South Gate this fall. 

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In addition, he invested in a community redevelopment project.

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He was nominated for the league's Social Justice Champion Award this season for his continued philanthropy.