Best available NBA free agent point guards: 4. Russell Westbrook
After being vilified by Laker fans, Russell Westbrook joined the Los Angeles Clippers, where he went on to be one of the most impactful two-way guards in the postseason.
Westbrook’s swarming defense helped the Clippers contain both Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. With Westbrook as the primary defender, Booker shot 48.0 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3; that is a far cry from overall playoff numbers (58.5 from the field, 50.8 on 3-pointers). Meanwhile, he forced Durant to commit seven turnovers in only 20 minutes of defensive coverage.
On the offensive end, he was equally spectacular, averaging 23.6 points and 7.4 assists. He even shot a respectable 35.7 percent from 3.
Fit is everything for Westbrook. He needs to be surrounded by shooters and allowed to play through his rough scoring nights. On paper, the Clippers remain a perfect fit for him. With a need at point guard, he should continue to play heavy minutes, and he is capable of stepping up as the go-to guy in the potential absence of Kawhi Leonard and/or Paul George.
However, the Clippers only have his non-bird rights, so they can offer him up to 120 percent of the minimum salary. That is obviously below his market value.
What will Westbrook prioritize this offseason? Fit or money?