Should the Utah Jazz pursue Russell Westbrook if he hits the free agent wire?

The Utah Jazz had a shot at Russell Westbrook, and passed, but is it time to rectify that?
Los Angeles Clippers v Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Clippers v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz are in need of some point guard help. While they have two on the roster and potentially a third and fourth about to enter free agency, none of those four showed enough last season to warrant being called the team's obvious starter heading into the 2024-2025 season. Keyonte George was inconsistent all year long in every facet of his game and while Collin Sexton was an upgrade in scoring the ball, his defense was arguably worse than George's. Those two are the only point guards on the roster heading into the season currently.

The two men about to enter free agency are leagues better on defense, but Kris Dunn doesn't bring enough pop offensively for some, and Talen Horton-Tucker is as bad offensively as George and Sexton are defensively. So as you can see, the four options the Jazz have aren't great options if the goal is to win in 2024-2025.

So we look to free agency and we see a few names, namely Russell Westbrook and we ask ourselves "Should the Jazz go get Westbrook?" The Atheltic is reporting that Westbrook is ready to leave the Los Angeles Clippers this offseason, with the report also stating he was hard to deal with due to his reservist role on the team.

There are a lot of reasons to consider him, admittedly. He can play in 70+ games still, he can average 10 points, 5 rebounds, and five assists per night still, and save for Dunn, Westbrook is a better defensive player than anyone the Jazz have at the position. That alone makes him a very attractive option. The sad reality is that Westbrook just isn't a winning player as a featured player, or as a starter.

He's only a career 44% shooter from the floor and a career 30.4% shooter from three. He's a terrible free-throw shooter for a point guard, 78% for his career, and while he is a better passer than most still, he isn't a positive offensive player anymore according to his offensive box plus-minus.

Now, if Westbrook was good with 20-25 minutes, where he didn't shoot from beyond the arc and played a reserved role for the Jazz, yes. He'd be great in that situation. But he believes he's still a great player when one could argue that was never truly the case. This is a man who has a below-average career true-shooting percentage. He was only as effective as he was because of his elite speed, which he no longer has.

Not to mention, he's a headache to deal with. At 36, if he's not willing to take a bench role, he's done in the NBA.

Plus, if the Jazz are going to look for a defensive-minded bench guard, why not just re-sign Dunn? Which is my official endorsement going forward.