Where is Westbrook’s next home? In the past few days, this topic has been developed almost in parallel with the hot spots of the All-Star Weekend. When most NBA players are taking advantage of the rare vacation to rest and adjust, Westbrook is quite confused about his future.
The latest news is that the Clippers have negotiated with Westbrook, and the two sides have communicated about Westbrook’s role during the negotiations. Next, Westbrook will meet with the Clippers’ dual-core card and George to further discuss the feasibility of joining the Clippers and playing together later in the season.
However, is the Clippers really Westbrook’s ideal next home? Besides the Clippers, does Westbrook have other options?
When Westbrook was just traded by the Lakers, the answers to the above questions were once quite optimistic. At that time, in addition to the Clippers, the Eastern Bulls, Heat, and Westbrook’s old club, the Wizards, also showed strong interest in him. On the Clippers side, George even risked “illegal recruitment” and the risk of being fined by the league to directly shout to Westbrook in the interview, hoping that he can join.
However, just a few days later, the attitude of all parties towards Westbrook suddenly became cold. Even George, who had actively lobbied him before, is no longer so proactive.
After all, from the perspective of the Clippers coaching staff, they may be a little interested in Westbrook, but this interest is extremely limited. You know, after the trade deadline, the Clippers’ lineup underwent a major change. On the bench, the three new players Eric Gordon, Hyland and Plumlee completed it in just two games. A seamless connection with the new owner. Specific to the back line, during the substitute period, the ball is distributed among Hyland, Gordon and Powell, which has shown a state close to saturation. At least there is a big question mark.
It is undeniable that in order to survive in the league this season, Westbrook has put down his dignity to the greatest extent. In the early part of the season, he accepted the role of a substitute in the Lakers and played as the sixth man, and the look and feel of the stadium is indeed better than last season. However, the change of role still cannot conceal the fact that Westbrook’s projection is out of sight and his space attributes are extremely poor. Even if he enters the Clippers’ bench in the future, these problems will still limit his development in the new club.
Entering mid-February, the Clippers finally established a new order of team rotation after experiencing a difficult break-in for most of the season. From the dual-core card pepper to the role players around them, the team’s tactical thinking has finally been smoothed out and unified. In addition, the dual-core team is now fully healthy, and the strong Clippers have returned to their goal of winning the championship. Under such circumstances, it is absolutely impossible for the Clippers to make any tactical accommodations or do any unnecessary experiments for a veteran player with a basic salary. In addition, in order to build a championship lineup, this season, the Clippers have surpassed the Warriors to become the team with the highest total salary of players. In this case, the actual cost of signing Westbrook with a basic salary is doubled and accumulated. If it is not an urgent need, the Clippers management may not be willing to take out this extra signing fee easily.
Compared with the Clippers, Westbrook may have a higher degree of freedom for the development of several teams going to the East. For the Bulls, for example, the team’s coach Billy Donovan was once Westbrook’s head coach in Oklahoma, and the assistant coach Cheeks on the bench was also Westbrook’s mentor. Obviously clearer.
It’s just that unlike the Clippers, the goal of the Bulls and Wizards this season seems to be no longer to strive for success. As for the Heat, they need Westbrook’s talent, but they are also worried that Westbrook’s arrival will destroy the inherent chemical reaction. Therefore, in the past few days, interest in Westbrook and the Eastern Conference teams has continued to decline.
The only good news is that with Westbrook being bought out, his so-called high salary and low ability will be completely washed away. Next, no matter where he goes, the outside world will no longer judge him as harshly as when he was the core. But even so, Westbrook’s survival pressure in the league is still huge, and in order to participate in the playoffs, he must make a final joining decision before March 1.
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