Bulls favorites to sign Russell Westbrook after contract buyout

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Bulls favorites to sign Jazz Russell Westbrook after contract buyout

The Chicago Bulls are the favorites to sign Russell Westbrook when and if the nine-time All-Star agrees to a contract buyout with the Utah Jazz, per sources. Other interested teams include the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat. Of course, the 15-year veteran is earning $47,063,478 this season.

Ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers dealt Westbrook, Damian Jones, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and a 2027 first-round draft pick to the Jazz for Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt. The Minnesota Timberwolves also traded D’Angelo Russell to L.A.

According to multiple NBA betting sites, the Bulls have 20th-ranked odds to win the championship. If Chicago lands Westbrook, the team’s playoff chances will likely increase to the middle of the pack.

“If Westbrook is bought out, he has been most strongly linked to the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat, but it could be the Chicago Bulls who ultimately sign him,” said ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“If he gets out into the buyout market, there is significant interest in Westbrook. I think one team you got to watch, and I think will be a frontrunner are the Bulls. Billy Donovan certainly coached Westbrook in Oklahoma City. If you go further down his bench, Mo Cheeks, Josh Longstaff…

“There is a staff of former OKC assistants who all had good relationships and worked well with Westbrook with the Bulls. And you could see how he fits just bringing some energy and fire to that team’s bench.”

Chicago Bulls are favored to sign former Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook after contract buyout with Utah Jazz

Through 52 appearances this season, Westbrook is averaging 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.0 steal per game. Plus, he’s shooting 41.7% from the floor, 29.6% outside the arc, and 65.5% at the foul line.

While with the Lakers, the two-time scoring champ agreed to come off the bench for the first time since his rookie 2008-09 season. As for the results, they’ve been mixed overall.

In December, Westbrook became the first Lakers player in franchise history to record multiple triple-doubles off the bench. He recorded 17 double-doubles and four triple-doubles with L.A. this season. The guard can help the Bulls.

On Jan. 20, in Los Angeles’ 122-121 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, the guard logged a season-high 29 points in 31 minutes off the bench. He finished 10-of-18 (55.6%) shooting from the field and hit two 3-pointers.

However, would Russell Westbrook mesh well with Zach LaVine and Javonte Green? It seems every team Westbrook plays for goes nowhere with the former Thunder guard in the rotation.

The 2019-20 Houston Rockets were one of the rare exceptions. Perhaps the Bulls could make it work. If Lonzo Ball can return soon, Chicago has a great chance of making a playoff run this season. Westbrook is expected to agree to a contract buyout with the Jazz.