The Los Angeles Clippers shook up their backcourt at the trade deadline. The team parted ways with both Reggie Jackson and John Wall and brought in Eric Gordon and Bones Hyland, and while it’s easy to argue Los Angeles got better because of these moves, the Clippers’ point guard situation is now, essentially, Terance Mann and whatever playmaking Paul George and Kawhi Leonard can do.
If they turn to the buyout market to bolster their point guard rotation, the most prominent name — and one the team has been linked to — is going to be Russell Westbrook, assuming he gets bought out after his trade to the Utah Jazz. We’ll see if that ends up happening, but one thing was made clear on Friday night: Paul George would love a reunion with his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate.
“I mean if there’s, you know, somebody out there: Russell,” George said when asked about potentially filling a roster spot with a point guard, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “If it makes sense and obviously it goes with our team, we’re all for it. You know, we need a point guard. But you know, [at] the same [time], I think we’re good as well. If nothing happened, we got enough in this locker room to be able to make it work.
“But it would definitely improve our team if we had that traditional point guard to kind of get us in things and make the game easy. So hopefully Russell sees this and we figure something out.”
George isn’t concerned about Westbrook struggling to fit in, as he believes the team’s spacing would give him more than enough room to operate. Marcus Morris took a similar approach to adding Westbrook, saying that he doesn’t believe he got a fair shake during his time with the Lakers and that “we need the personality.”
“He hasn’t had an opportunity to play on a team where, like, he could be himself and be able to play freely,” Morris said. “Playing with the Lakers, it’s like media, media, media. And from the outside looking in, like every time something bad went wrong — Russell Westbrook. Nobody else was really getting no blame. And it just kept spiraling down.”
Earlier in the day on Friday, Jazz general manager Justin Zanik expressed that a Westbrook buyout is not a foregone conclusion.