How Clippers signing a 9-time All-Star point guard helps the Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kawhi Leonard
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kawhi Leonard / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks find themselves in sixth place in the Western Conference at the All-Star break, but they could go in either direction quickly. They are just 2.5 games out of third and two games up on 12th with 22 contests left in the regular season. Dallas is still trying to find their footing after the Kyrie Irving trade, but they were helped by massive news coming out of the Western Conference on Feb. 20.

Nine-time All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook has agreed to sign with the LA Clippers after completing his buyout with the Jazz. The 34-year-old was traded by the Lakers at the deadline to acquire D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt. Westbrook stays in Los Angeles and moves across the hall to play for the rival Clippers.

Westbrook is a massive name and a future Hall of Famer. The signing created plenty of buzz on Monday, but acquiring the 34-year-old helps the Mavericks' chances against the Clippers, especially in the postseason. Here are three reasons why this moves benefits Dallas.

Russell Westbrook gives Dallas Mavericks someone to target if they play the Clippers

Westbrook struggles on the defensive end of the floor, and the Mavericks now have two superstars in the backcourt in Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. The Clippers are loaded with wings and strong perimeter defenders, but number 77 is going to pick his matchup in the playoffs. He will certainly be attacking Westbrook whenever he is on the floor if the two teams match up.

The nine-time All-Star ranks 237th of 250 qualified players in FiveThirtyEight’s defensive RAPTOR this season. The Clippers have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to cover for him, but Doncic is going to bring Westbrook’s man into the screen every play looking for a switch with Kyrie waiting on the other side of the floor to attack a shifting defense. Luka will play Westbrook off the floor, and the future Hall of Fame will not be happy if he is not out there.

The Clippers are a difficult matchup, but Russell Westbrook is someone for the Dallas Mavericks to attack if the two teams meet in the postseason for the third time in four years.