If the hoops news keeps coming this fast, I might write enough words to fill a novel before draft day. Maybe I should start doing finger exercises so these bad boys don’t get tired. Does anyone know a guy who sells tiny weights?
• The NBA offseason didn’t take long to get crazy. Once the league finally announced plans to begin the 2020-21 campaign on December 22nd, teams and players dove headfirst into preparation. Trades and qualifying offers have not yet been given the green light, but the expectation is that it’s only a matter of days (or even hours) before the league lifts the moratorium period. The next couple of weeks should be filled with big-time moves across the league – particularly in the trade market. After all, a weak draft class combined with an underwhelming free-agent market means teams have to find new talent in more creative ways. The first major move that could come across our social media timeline is a deal surrounding superstar point guard Russell Westbrook. Yesterday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Westbrook has not been thrilled with the Rockets’ culture and now wants out of his current situation.
• Since my job is to look at the world through Bulls colored glasses, I have to ask whether or not Westbrook is a worthwhile target for Chicago’s new front office. To be blunt, the answer is right on the cusp of “HELL NO.” There was a time when Westbrook would have been a more than lovely Bulls get, but those days are long gone. Owed roughly $132 million over the next three seasons, the guy is a HUGE commitment. Adding him would basically remove any flexibility Chicago has moving forward, which is currently set-up to be max-level in the coveted 2021 free agency. The Bulls could either throw all their eggs in the 32-year-old Westbrook basket or hope to get a younger, more long-term piece one year from now. I opt for the latter, and I have a feeling Karnisovas will, as well. Anyway, The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry – who covered Westbrook during his days back in OKC – wrote more about to pros and cons of acquiring him. Give it a read.
I'm told there is a bit of divide in Charlotte on Russell Westbrook. Some see him, with a few other additions, as enough to get the Hornets into playoff contention again the East. Others see the best path forward to keep a clean cap sheet after this season. https://t.co/D68bAIUpIq
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 12, 2020
• The night we saw how special Coby White could be.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 12, 2020
• I swear, this man better get his fair shot at playing lead guard. If not, the Bulls will be hearing from my lawyer. I’m fine with drafting a point guard if Arturas Karnisovas believes that player is the best get in the draft, but I do not want that to take away from White’s chance to play point guard. Rumor has it he put together one heck of an impressive mini-camp this offseason, and we all know how awesome he was at the end of last season. The kid burst through the rookie wall in a big way, so who’s to say it isn’t only up from here? GIVE MY GUY A SHOT.
• Speaking of the Bulls looking at other point guards, Kira Lewis Jr. confirmed that he worked out for Chicago. We got word of this a couple of weeks ago, but it remains noteworthy. Lewis isn’t expected to go until later in the lottery, so this could tell us that the Bulls are keeping their eye on possible trade-down prospects.
Got off the phone with Kira Lewis Jr. He's worked out for seven teams. Here are four of them: Knicks, Bulls, Pistons, Magic.
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) November 12, 2020
• Could the Bulls ties to LaMelo Ball finally be fading away? The Timberwolves have been connected to the polarizing guard more and more as the draft nears. The organization reportedly worked him out the other day, and there is good reason to believe he is becoming the consensus No. 1 pick.
LaMelo Ball had previously met with Minnesota's head coach, Ryan Saunders, and lead decision maker, Gersson Rosas, but this was his first private workout with a NBA team after conducing several interviews. A source present at the workout said Ball shot the ball well. https://t.co/z6SJOXVG5e
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) November 12, 2020
• lol Victor Oladipo sucks at keeping a secret. Could he be included in a possible Westbrook trade? I wouldn’t hate that move for either side.
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) November 12, 2020
• Fred VanVleet has went from being undrafted to one of 2020’s best free agents. You got to respect the grind.