3 Teams that dodged a bullet with Russell Westbrook news

Russell Westbrook (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
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Lauri Markkanen, Westbrook
Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Utah Jazz

While the likelihood of Westbrook suiting up for the Utah Jazz seemed low, it was at least a possibility. After all, they were the ones who acquired him in a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. There were even discussions about him potentially playing for them before he ultimately decided on a buyout and a contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. That is probably for the best for all involved.

The Jazz agreed to trade three rotation players for a player who was a buyout candidate. That, combined with their place on the fringe of the Western Conference playoff race, makes it seem as though they plan on tanking the rest of the season. If Westbrook did play, he likely wouldn’t play much, though he could have been a great tank commander.

The Jazz overachieved for much of this year and are better for it, but now it is in their best interest to take the foot off the pedal and try to improve their draft position. Westbrook doesn’t seem to be the type to take his foot off the pedal. For Westbrook’s part, at this point in his career, he probably only wants to play for a contender. The Clippers are more of a contender than their underachieving arena mates, the Lakers, and he won’t have to travel far to link up with them as a result.