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Russell Westbrook returns to LA in deal with Clippers

The former Kia MVP could make his debut Friday.

Russell Westbrook is expected to make his Clippers debut on Friday against the Kings.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Russell Westbrook signed with the Los Angeles Clippers after he cleared waivers on Wednesday afternoon.

The nine-time All-Star was waived by the Utah Jazz on Monday. He cleared waivers because no team has the salary cap space to take on the remaining $47 million he was owed on his expiring contract.

There is an outside chance Westbrook could practice Thursday if he 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.

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 is reuniting with Paul George, his former teammate in Oklahoma City. George had lobbied the front office to add a point guard.

Westbrook’s signing completes a busy three-week period during which the Clippers made plenty of changes to their lineup. They reacquired Eric Gordon, who began his career with them in 2008, from Houston and got Bones Hyland from Denver.

They also acquired center Mason Plumlee from Charlotte for Reggie Jackson. LA also traded Luke Kennard to Memphis and John Wall back to Houston.


AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.