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Westbrook opts back in for $47.1 million

The Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook is exercising his option to play for $47.1 million next season, a person with direct knowledge of the decision said Tuesday.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither Westbrook — a past NBA MVP and one of the league’s top 75 all-time players — nor the Lakers revealed the decision publicly. ESPN first reported Westbrook’s decision.

It certainly was not a surprise, considering Westbrook would not have commanded anywhere near $47.1 million for this coming season had he chosen to become a free agent. He’ll turn 34 next season, his 15th in the NBA.

Westbrook had until today to make up his mind on the option, which will make this the fifth and final season of a $207 million contract he signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The nine-time All-Star has been well-traveled since — he was traded to Houston in 2019, traded to Washington in 2020 and was moved to the Lakers in 2021.

He averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 78 games with the Lakers.

Elsewhere:

n John Wall and the Houston Rockets have agreed that his contract will be bought out, a move that will free him to sign with any team of his choosing, two people with knowledge of the situation said Monday night. Wall’s preference will be to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to one of the people who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the five-time All-Star guard had not announced his intentions publicly. Wall will receive roughly $41 million from Houston, according to the other person who spoke with AP. Wall was scheduled to make $47.4 million this coming season, his last in what was a four-year contract.

n Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy has accepted an offer to become the coach of the Utah Jazz, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday. Hardy and the Jazz were in the process of finalizing contract language, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side announced the deal publicly. Hardy will become an NBA head coach for the first time. He will replace Quin Snyder, who decided to leave the Jazz earlier this month after eight seasons.

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