Nine-time NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook’s decision to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers seems almost anticlimactic. Rumors of Westbrook being traded from the Lakers persisted throughout the summer. When it finally happened, Westbrook simply decided to join the Clippers, who also share the same home arena.
Irony aside, Westbrook could potentially help the Clippers, but rumors that teams shied away from signing him leave room for doubt. In fact, several teams might have even dodged a bullet by opting not to but which teams? Let’s see.
Before news broke that Westbrook planned on signing with the Clippers, the Chicago Bulls flirted with the idea of bringing him in. The Bulls have underachieved this season and failed to upgrade at the trade deadline; that, coupled with head coach Billy Donovan’s relationship with Westbrook, made the idea of him joining the team make sense on paper.
Luckily for them, it didn’t happen. Why? because Westbrook would have been a terrible fit on their team. Westbrook requires the ball in his hands to be effective, and he wouldn’t see much of it playing with Zach LaVine and Demar DeRozan. Also, shortly after Westbrook agreed to sign with the Clippers, his former Lakers teammate Pat Beverley agreed to join the Bulls.
Despite him also having a disappointing season with the Lakers, he might fair better in his hometown and is likely a better fit than Westbrook would have been. Ultimately, neither move will dramatically increase the team’s ceiling, but Westbrook’s volatile personality could have affected team chemistry.