Paul George

Three Things to Watch: Bulls square off against Westbrook and the Thunder

russeel.png

Three Things to Watch: Bulls square off against Westbrook and the Thunder

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Bulls take on the Indiana Pacers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.

1. Getting a re-do: The Bulls' worst loss of the young season at the time came when the Thunder crushed them, 101-69, at the United Center. Now a largely rested Bulls team - one that hasn't played since Saturday - gets a chance to make amends. The last time the Bulls had three days off they played well in a 97-91 road loss to the Heat. With Nikola Mirotic back in practice the Bulls are getting closer to full-strength. Fred Hoiberg has had practice time to get his young squad ready; will it be enough against a West powerhouse?

2. Searching for offense: In last month's loss to the Thunder the Bulls shot a measley 28 percent and had 19 turnovers to just 16 assists. That game is part of the reason the Bulls have the league's worst offensive efficiency. Of course Zach LaVine eventually returning to the lineup will help things, but so could Bobby Portis' strong play since returning, Kris Dunn finding his groove and Lauri Markkanen continuing showing consistency. Better days are ahead for the Bulls offense, but it might not happen easily against a Thunder defense ranked 2nd in efficiency. 

3. Russell Westbrook: If you're tuning in we know you love basketball, and if you love basketball you know that Russell Westbrook is a joy to watch every night. He's having a down year by his standards (he averaged a triple-double last year afterall), averaging 20.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 9.8 assists per game. But you know he's capable any night of doing something you've never seen done on a basketball court. Make sure you're tuning in.

How Bulls helped Thunder pull off blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade

mcdermottanthony.jpg
USA TODAY

How Bulls helped Thunder pull off blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade

For all the Bulls fans who wanted to see the organization pull off a Carmelo Anthony trade over the years, they just got their wish.

Well, sort of.

According to The Vertical's Shams Charania, the Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks have agreed to a blockbuster trade which will send Anthony to the Thunder for Doug McDermott, Enes Kanter and the Bulls' 2018 second-round pick.

Coincidentally, the Bulls traded a comparable package to what the Thunder just surrendered for the 10-time NBA All-Star.

Just before the NBA's trade deadline last February, the Bulls sent McDermott, Taj Gibson and a 2018 second-round draft choice to the Thunder for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow.

As the Thunder load up for a postseason run in the Western Conference, the Bulls are in the midst of rebuilding year after trading Jimmy Butler earlier this offseason and not having much to show from their previous trade with the Thunder.

The Bulls let Lauvergne and Morrow depart via free agency this offseason, while Payne will start the season on the shelf after undergoing foot surgery.

After the deal becomes official via a league call on Monday, Anthony will join reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and All-Star Paul George in Oklahoma City.

The 33-year-old Anthony averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Knicks last season.