Report: Executives think Russell Westbrook could get up to $15M per year in free agency

Brad Sullivan
4 Min Read

With embattled guard Russell Westbrook set to enter free agency on Friday, a new report indicates that some NBA executives believe that the veteran could get a new deal worth as much as $15 million per year.

Mark Medina of The Sporting Tribune looked at Westbrook potentially re-signing with the Los Angeles Clippers, though financial considerations largely limit the Clippers’ options.

“Will that recent history be enough to back up both parties’ sentiments with actual actions? Westbrook would love to stay in his hometown with an organization that made him feel comfortable, but the Clippers can only pay him up $3.8 million to stay,” wrote Medina. “Other NBA executives around the league believe Westbrook could still attract offers worth $10-$15 million per season. The Clippers may not have offered that money even if they had the space. Despite gushing about how Westbrook upgraded the point-guard position, the Clippers still tried to acquire [Boston] Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon last week only for the deal to fall through after becoming concerned with his injury history.”

Westbrook’s previous deal was worth more than $200 million over five seasons, a time period in which the veteran guard bounced from team to team.

The Clippers signed Westbrook in February after he was bought out of his remaining contract by the Utah Jazz. That buyout came shortly after the Jazz had acquired him from the Los Angeles Lakers.

Westbrook’s disastrous time with the Lakers was what gave rise to rumors that he might not even receive a contract offer this summer. In less than two years, the guard went from a highly prized acquisition for the Lakers to an albatross who no other team seemingly wanted.

That excitement by the Lakers was based on Westbrook’s past production, which included regularly putting up triple-double performances for whatever team he was playing for.

Westbrook’s reputation as a triple-double machine was forged during his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. After those numbers slipped slightly during a one-year stint with the Houston Rockets, they resurfaced the following year with the Washington Wizards.

The trade for Westbrook set off dreams of another NBA title for the Lakers, but soon disintegrated into the reality of the team not even reaching the postseason. The key reasons for that failure during Westbrook’s first season with the Lakers were a combination of injuries and chemistry issues.

That disappointment led to Westbrook and his family enduring verbal abuse from fans in his home state. After eventually signing with the Clippers, he managed to offer contributions as part of the team’s starting lineup.

Westbrook could conceivably end up having to take that lower amount from the Clippers if no solid offers materialize. He no doubt is looking for much more than the aforementioned total of $3.8 million, so his tenure with the Clippers could be coming to an end soon.

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Brad has written on a variety of both NBA and NFL topics and has worked previously as a sports information director at the collegiate level. A lifetime fan of sports, he's witnessed countless great moments in different sports and understands that stories can be compelling from both the perspective of winners and losers. As a frustrated fan of Cleveland sports, he experienced something unprecedented when the Cavaliers won the city's first championship in 52 years.