Russell Westbrook is a fan-favorite to sign with the Bulls

Russell Westbrook, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Lakers fans were finally allowed the luxury of one long collective sigh of relief yesterday evening, when they finally dealt Russell Westbrook away and got an absolute haul in return with players like D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Malik Beasley. While the Lakers may still be celebrating their successful trade, now could be the time for the Chicago Bulls to make a sneaky good pickup in free agency.

But first, this can thankfully once and for all finally put an end to the Zach LaVine to LA rumors in return for Westbrook and a pair of future first-rounders. This hypothetical trade scenario has been shared by eager Lakers fans and made the rounds on the internet too many times to count, but reaches a merciful end here at the trade deadline.

The Lakers arguably got a better return in the end for Westbrook anyways, without giving up nearly as much as they would have for LaVine, so I doubt they’ll be too pressed about the issue.

However, all indications now point toward Utah planning to buy Westbrook’s contract out and allow him to hit free agency, where the Bulls are reported to have an interest in pursuing him in free agency.

It’s difficult to determine if he’d be a good fit for the Chicago Bulls, but fans seem to believe Russell Westbrook is worth the risk to find out.

As one of the league’s premiere players for over a decade now, this isn’t the first time Westbrook has found himself tied to the Chicago Bulls on the rumor mill. In fact, Westbrook has been a controversial hotbed issue among the fanbase for quite some time.

However, the circumstances surrounding these rumors are tilted much further in Chicago’s favor than ever before. This time the Bulls wouldn’t have to sacrifice assets in a trade to secure his services, because Chicago could simply sign him outright on a veteran’s minimum deal.

This drastically affects the calculus of the situation here, so I decided to conduct a poll to check the fanbase’s collective temperature regarding the matter on Twitter.

To my surprise, voters were in favor of the move by a solid amount. 46.2% of over 200 voters expressed the desire for the Bulls to go out and sign Russ, with just shy of 20% being on the fence. Only 33.9% of voters were directly opposed to the idea, meaning “Yes” was the most picked answer and would have easily been over a 50% majority if “Unsure” wasn’t a valid response.

There are still valid concerns to be had about Westbrook’s fit with this team, but he would be an undeniable talent upgrade for the Bulls. Averaging 7.5 assists per game this season, Westbrook’s playmaking would be among the best on this team and would serve as a quality stopgap until the season ends and Lonzo Ball can eventually return.

A pre-established relationship with head coach Billy Donovan may help also help Russ play a role more suitable to his strengths and help him get comfortable again. He looked fantastic in Washington after all, it’s entirely possible that the constraints of playing alongside LeBron prevented his game from thriving. In a situation where Donovan understands and can utilize his strengths better, it’s not entirely ridiculous to believe Westbrook could recapture that Wizards magic once again on the Bulls

Even if the Bulls commit to the pursuit of Westbrook, it’s far from a sure thing that they’d be able to land him. Other likely contenders for his services include the LA Clippers and Miami Heat. Whether or not Russ decides if Chicago is a suitable destination right now, well, is impossible to decide. We’ll stay tuned for more developments regarding this situation and provide an update if and when Utah comes to a contract buyout with Westbrook.

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