Bulls interested in Russell Westbrook, if bought – NBC Chicago
Report: Bulls interested in signing Russell Westbrook originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Chicago Bulls are interested in signing Russell Westbrook, should he get a buyout from the Utah Jazz, according to Chris Haynes.
Westbrook was traded to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday in a three-team trade that also saw D’Angelo Russell land with the Los Angeles Lakers.
If the Jazz buy out Westbrook’s contract, they will seek a new contract on the buyout market. With the Bulls, the Los Angeles Clippers are interested. The Miami Heat are also interested, according to separate reports.
For the Bulls, however, the deal would require some maneuvering.
Currently, the Bulls have 15 salaries. According to NBC Sports Chicago’s KC Johnson, they would have to waive a player or execute an unequal trade to make a deal with Westbrook. The Clippers are favorites for the former MVP point guard.
Additionally, the Bulls are about $1.7 million short of the luxury tax line. They should thread the needle of signing Westbrook to a prorated contract while staying under the tax line. The Bulls have paid the luxury tax once in franchise history.
Westbrook wouldn’t solve any of the Bulls’ 3-point shooting problems. But, his ability to bounce back and consistently play with a high engine would be an adjustment.
To this day, Donovan is full of praise for Westbrook’s professionalism, energy and desire to win when asked about his former playmaker. Donovan coached Westbrook for four years between 2015 and 2019, while the two teamed up with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Bulls have been without starting point guard Lonzo Ball this season due to the ongoing stresses of two knee surgeries that have left him on the floor since January 2022. In his place, head coach Billy Donovan started point guard. second-year Ayo Dosunmu in 44 games this season. Goran Dragić and Coby White have also seen the clock tick this season.
Should the Bulls reach a deal with Westbrook, he could join the starting corps along with Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams and Nikola Vucevic, playing alongside a team hoping to make some noise in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
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