A Russell Westbrook Trade For The Chicago Bulls Is Not Happening

Rusell Westbrook is a damn good player, I am not denying that. No ifs, and, or buts about it. Westbrook is a former MVP and has had three straight seasons of averaging a triple-double.

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This blog post is not me hating on others opinions or thoughts on the situation but for me to express how I feel about the situation at hand. I like where the Bulls are and I like the direction the organization picked to go.

I have had many questions about the ability of John Paxson and Gar Forman’s leadership throughout the years. The Head Coaching carousel, trading effective NBA players, and deviating from building a championship team by adding over the hill vets.

Where I finally started to agree with the Bulls front office is when they decided to blow it all up and add young and athletic players to the squad. The Jimmy Butler trade which netted Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen really caught my interest because a direction was finally picked. Get young, get athletic, and get young guys that can shoot the rock.

So, I ask why trade integral parts of this rebuild for an aging star? Rusell Westbrook is a damn good player, I am not denying that. No ifs, and, or buts about it. Westbrook is a former MVP and has had three straight seasons of averaging a triple-double.

Per Game Table
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2016-17 28 OKC NBA PG 81 81 34.6 10.2 24.0 .425 2.5 7.2 .343 7.7 16.8 .459 .476 8.8 10.4 .845 1.7 9.0 10.7 10.4 1.6 0.4 5.4 2.3 31.6
2017-18 29 OKC NBA PG 80 80 36.4 9.5 21.1 .449 1.2 4.1 .298 8.3 17.0 .485 .477 5.2 7.1 .737 1.9 8.2 10.1 10.3 1.8 0.3 4.8 2.5 25.4
2018-19 30 OKC NBA PG 73 73 36.0 8.6 20.2 .428 1.6 5.6 .290 7.0 14.5 .481 .468 4.1 6.2 .656 1.5 9.6 11.1 10.7 1.9 0.5 4.5 3.4 22.9
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/11/2019.
Though Russ is a great player, Father Time serves no man. His game is built off of athleticism and being 30 years old going on 31 during the start of the season is already a red flag in my mind. Now, I am not saying that he won’t be effective if the Bulls did trade for him, but I am looking at the later years.
Russ is signed through the 2022-2023 season on a supermax contract. This could greatly affect the Bulls in 2021 free agency as Lauri Markkanen will be in the last year of his rookie contract and Zach LaVine will be in the last year of his contract.
Payroll Table
Salary
Player Age 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 Signed Using Guaranteed
Russell Westbrook 30 $35,654,150 $38,178,000 $41,006,000 $43,848,000 $46,662,000 Bird Rights $158,686,150
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/11/2019.
Not to mention that the 2021 free agency class is stacked.

So, by the time other superstars hit free agency, Russ will be 33 years old. Another red flag goes up considering how his numbers have dipped in FG%, FT%, and 3P% over the last two years. Who knows? Maybe in that time span, the Bulls become a real threat with their young core in the Eastern Conference and free agents would like to join them. Again that’s just a theory.

Per Game Table
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2017-18 29 OKC NBA PG 80 80 36.4 9.5 21.1 .449 1.2 4.1 .298 8.3 17.0 .485 .477 5.2 7.1 .737 1.9 8.2 10.1 10.3 1.8 0.3 4.8 2.5 25.4
2018-19 30 OKC NBA PG 73 73 36.0 8.6 20.2 .428 1.6 5.6 .290 7.0 14.5 .481 .468 4.1 6.2 .656 1.5 9.6 11.1 10.7 1.9 0.5 4.5 3.4 22.9
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/11/2019.
Honestly, I like what the Bulls are doing. The NBA is finally seeming to get to a place where more than the same 4 teams are competitive. A young core with a ton of potential is a nice thing to have. If the Bulls can stay healthy they should be a playoff team this year. It’s food for thought, trade for an aging star with no guarantees of another superstar joining him or stay the course with a young promising team. I’ll take the latter.

Featured Photo Credit: CBSSports.Com

 

1 comments on “A Russell Westbrook Trade For The Chicago Bulls Is Not Happening”

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