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Clippings: The Clippers reportedly have interest in Russell Westbrook

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It’s definitely silly season in the NBA.

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

NBA free agency officially opens next Friday, and that means the league is in prime speculation season. Some rumors have real weight, while others take on a life of their own through a league-wide game of telephone.

The Clippers were part of a wild rumor on Tuesday, when Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported on The Ringer NBA Show that the team has interest in acquiring Russell Westbrook:

“Teams believe Russell Westbrook could be had, that Westbrook could be had. I’ve heard the Clippers have interest, I’ve heard the Knicks have interest, and whether anything materializes there, who knows? Who knows? But the fact is there is a belief that a guy like Westbrook could become available, and I wouldn’t be shocked if over the next week we hear more names that kind of come out of nowhere.”

O’Connor couched the interest with a good deal of context, but it is startling to hear that the Clippers have any interest in Westbrook, who is a difficult player to build around. The Clippers certainly need a point guard upgrade, but they’d have to give up Lou Williams, Rodney McGruder, Patrick Beverley, and Montrezl Harrell via a sign-and-trade to make the math work, or they’d have to trade Paul George to bring Westbrook to Los Angeles. And let’s be real, Beverley would probably have to go in either situation because of his long-standing feud with Westbrook.

Neither of those options make the Clippers better, and the Clippers are famously tight-lipped about their front-office business. Old friend Robert Flom has a theory that the interest is really Houston’s desire to dump the aging point guard. That makes more sense than the Clippers working hard to acquire him.

That Westbrook is available after one season with the Rockets isn’t surprising considering the way Houston’s season blew up in the playoffs, but there has to be a better fit for him than in L.A. Hopefully, the next Clipper rumor is more plausible.

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