LOS ANGELES – Russell Westbrook could make his debut with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday once he clears waivers, two people with knowledge of the matter said Tuesday.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Westbrook still needs to clear waivers before he can sign with a new team.
The nine-time All-Star was waived by the Utah Jazz on Monday. He is expected to clear waivers Wednesday since no team has the salary cap space to take on the remaining $47 million he is owed on his expiring contract.
There is an outside chance Westbrook could practice Thursday if he signs and passes his physical. The Clippers — fourth in the Western Conference with a 33-28 record — host Sacramento on Friday in their first game after the All-Star break.
ESPN was the first to report that Westbrook intended to sign with the Clippers.
The move keeps Westbrook in Los Angeles. He is from the area, was a standout at UCLA and played less than two seasons for the Lakers before being traded to the Jazz on Feb. 10 as part of a three-team deal.
The 15-year veteran is averaging 15.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists in 28.7 minutes per game.
Westbrook would also be reunited with Paul George, his former teammate in Oklahoma City. George has been lobbying the front office to add a point guard.
“It would definitely improve our team if we had that traditional point guard, to kind of get us in things and make the game easy,” George said. “So, hopefully, Russell sees this and we figure something out.”
AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.
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