Why the Chicago Bulls shouldn’t sign Russell Westbrook: Spacing
This is the most pertinent issue, Russell Westbrook just isn’t a threat from behind the arc and if he’s to join the Bulls, he’d be playing a supporting role behind DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and other more efficient offensive players.
Only 26 percent of his shot attempts are from behind the arc and his 45.9 effective field goal percentage is flanked by 29 percent from the 3-point line and 27 percent from the corners per Cleaning the Glass. Those figures are all near the bottom of the league among guards.
When playing for the Lakers, defenses would completely ignore Westbrook when he didn’t have the ball in his hands and load up on other actions, like a LeBron James-Anthony Davis action. It’s not like his team can just give the ball to other players, when Russ is out there, defenses get an advantage against the rest of the team.
Russell Westbrook likes to have the ball in his hands, get to the rim, or find his shot in the mid-range. If he were to join the team, he’d clash immediately with DeRozan who should be given as much space as possible to operate after his Renaissance season last year proved he’s one of the more efficient scorers in the NBA.
One world in which the Westbrook signing works is if the Bulls surround him with (sometimes theoretical) shooters at the big spots like Nikola Vucevic and Pat Williams. But if you’re focusing your lineups on Russell, the juice might not be worth the squeeze.