The Los Angeles Clippers added Russell Westbrook after the NBA Trade Deadline in hopes that he would be the final piece of a championship puzzle.
Ultimately, despite Westbrook playing well in the postseason, the absence of the team’s two biggest stars in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George was too much to overcome.
Now, with Westbrook a free agent this summer, the question is how all parties involved proceed from here.
In a session with the media, team president Lawrence Frank addressed their feelings towards Westbrook.
Lawrence Frank on Russell Westbrook:
“We want to being Russell back. It’s a great example of when you have a trust in your partnership. T-Lue, PG, Kawhi advocated strongly for Russ. He brings a great energy and spirit to the team, around the building.”pic.twitter.com/N3ZTsH37zB
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) April 27, 2023
“Yeah, we want to bring Russell back,” Frank said.
“I give him a ton of credit and I think it’s a great example of when you have a trust in your partnership. T-Lue, PG, and Kawhi advocated strongly for Russ. We sat down, we discussed it, we sat down with Russ, Ty Lue, and myself. And we’ve feel really, really good for what Russ able to do and you guys get to see what he brings on the floor.”
Specifiaclly, Frank really appreciated the intensity and emotion Westbrook constantly brought to the table.
“He brings a great energy and spirit every single day to the team around the building,” Frank continued.
“And it’s good because it filled something that we needed and love when guys get second chances and just knock out of the park. And we’ve had now we’ve been very fortunate. If you think you go back to when we brought Reggie here, Nico and now Russ it, it’s great to see talented people who have a track record of high-quality play.”
The Clippers were a mess for large swaths of the season. Infighting and drama played at least some role in them not being able to advance past the first round.
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/ATfROxGWlL
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 29, 2023
That said, it would be interesting to see what Westbrook could accomplish next to a healthy Leonard and George.
Will Westbrook get the opportunity to show that in 2023-24? Time will tell.