Report: Nikola Jokic has been ‘pushing behind the scenes’ to get Russell Westbrook to Denver

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read

DNVR Sports’ Harrison Wind recently claimed that Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic is clamoring for the team to acquire guard Russell Westbrook.

“I’ve been told that Nikola Jokic actually has been pushing behind the scenes to get Westbrook to Denver,” Wind said. “I’ve been told that Nikola Jokic wants Westbrook in Denver. He wants to play with him. It’s not the first time he’s wanted to play with him.”

Westbrook recently opted into his player option for the 2024-25 season with the Los Angeles Clippers which is worth $4 million, but according to a source of The Athletic’s Law Murray, whether or not he will be with the Clippers by the start of next season is still up in the air.

While Westbrook is far removed from the player he was when he was averaging a triple-double with teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder and Washington Wizards, he still stuffed the stat sheet in a bench role with the Clippers during the 2023-24 regular season. He appeared in 68 of Los Angeles’ 82 regular-season games and averaged 11.1 points per game on 45.4 percent from the field along with 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.1 steals per contest.

However, he wasn’t nearly as effective as he was during the regular season in the Clippers’ series against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs. He really had trouble finding the bottom of the net against the Mavericks’ defense, considering he averaged just 6.3 points per game while shooting 26.0 percent from the floor and 23.5 percent from 3-point range.

Westbrook didn’t make a huge impact from a playmaking standpoint during the Clippers’ short stint in the 2024 NBA Playoffs either. After all, the 35-year-old averaged the same number of assists per game (1.7) as he did turnovers.

Jokic’s Nuggets didn’t advance much farther in the 2024 NBA Playoffs than the Clippers did, however. Denver lost to Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves in seven games in the second round, and the Nuggets’ lack of depth was apparent in the deciding Game 7, as Jokic and Jamal Murray were the only two players to reach double digits in scoring for the team.

Perhaps acquiring Westbrook will give the Nuggets the added depth that they need in order to compete for their second title in three years in the 2024-25 campaign.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.