2. Chicago Bulls
Connections mean a lot in professional sports and Russell Westbrook’s connection to Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan could be enough. Donovan coached Westbrook when he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder and has continued to be a public supporter of the former MVP.
This is also a classic move by a disappointing team that we have seen so many times in the league. Chicago has not played up to expectations this season and while they probably should have blown it up at the deadline, they did absolutely nothing.
Instead of maximizing the assets they actually have on the roster, Chicago was content with being the 11th seed with a 26-31 record. If Westbrook is bought out, the front office (and some fans) would convince themselves that Westbrook is the missing piece that can bring the team back to relevancy.
After all, Lonzo Ball played a huge role on this team and has not played all season with knee injuries that legitimately seem troublesome. The team does not have a traditional point guard on the roster so there is a hole for Westbrook to fill.
In reality, Westbrook may provide a jolt energy-wise but isn’t going to change the ceiling of this team. Chicago will still be a play-in team, which is a perfect place for Westbrook to be at this point in his career.
A Westbrook-Zach LaVine backcourt would be absolutely hilarious to watch and who knows, maybe it upsets LaVine enough to get him to force a trade (maybe to the Lakers?) in the summer.