The Los Angeles Lakers made a blockbuster trade this offseason to acquire 9x All-Star Russell Westbrook. Before the Lakers ultimately pulled the trigger on a deal for Westbrook, there were rumors that the LA Clippers could be a potential suitor for him. Despite the rumors, Westbrook reportedly wanted nothing to do with the Clippers.
In a recent article from Matt Weyrich of NBS Sports, it was reported that while Westbrook never demanded a trade from Washington, he was always intrigued with the possibility of joining the Lakers. In an interview with NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller, Washington Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard said, "Russell actually never asked to move on. He just said, 'If I can get to the Lakers, that’d be something I would love to do. If not, I’ll be back here.' I said, 'What about the Clippers?’ He said, 'Hell no.'"
According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the feelings between Westbrook and the Clippers were mutual. On an episode of his podcast, Lowe said that "The Clippers were never interested in Russell Westbrook... They were a rumored Russell Westbrook trade in a few places whenever that happened. They were never interested. That was never a real thing. I think they value their optionality too much."
While Westbrook's reported disinterest in the Clippers could have been driven by a multitude of factors, the Clippers staying away from a Westbrook trade was always the right move. While his fit with the team would have likely been no issue, Westbrook is still owed $91M over the next two seasons. Not only would this restrict the team's flexibility going forward, but it would have cost at least three rotation players to take on that much salary.
Westbrook preferred the Lakers, and the Clippers' front office preferred to let the Lakers have him.