While Paul George openly recruits him, Russell Westbrook reportedly leaning Bulls
Russell Westbrook has options. He could report to Utah and play whatever limited role the team has for him the rest of the season, although that choice seems highly unlikely. He could just sit out the rest of the season and collect his checks.
Or — most likely — he can agree to a buyout with the Jazz and become a free agent. The Bulls, Heat and Clippers are trying to recruit him. Westbrook is expected to take a little time with his decision and make it over the All-Star break, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Bulls are considered the frontrunner to land Westbrook, partly because of his ties to coach Billy Donovan, who coached Westbrook in Oklahoma City. The Bulls also have a need at point guard, where Lonzo Ball has not played for them this season due to a slow recovery from a second knee surgery.
After the Clippers’ loss to the Bucks on Friday, Paul George said he reached out to Westbrook and tried to sell him on remaining in Los Angeles, just with the other team.
“I’ve talked to him just to kind of see where his head is and to see if there is anything I can do...” George said via the Associated Press. “I’m a big believer and a fan of what Russ’ work is, having one of my best seasons in my career alongside of him. I’ve seen what he can do night in and night out. I really think he can improve the team. He’s such a big talent. He rebounds, he finds guys, he makes the game easy for everyone. I think he will come in, mesh, figure out how we play, and adjust to it.”
The Lakers traded Westbrook to Utah in a three-team blockbuster that also sent Mike Conley to the Timberwolves.