John Paxson indicates Bulls will not pursue Russell Westbrook trade
The Chicago Bulls are in need of star power and their next franchise icon, which is one of the reasons they have been mentioned as a team that could possibly be interested in trading for Russell Westbrook. It does not sound like that is going to happen, however.
Bulls president of basketball operations John Paxson was asked about Westbrook during an appearance on 670 The Score Thursday morning, and he said the team is looking at things “realistically.” By that, he means the Bulls are at a point where they want to let their young players develop rather than adding a superstar with a massive contract.
“You want the superstars. You want to do what the Clippers are doing and the Lakers are doing, but we’re realistic right now,” Paxson said. “We’re not in that position. We hope that in a couple years with the development of these young guys, players around the league view us as a destination point where they can win at the highest level.”
Of course, NBA tampering rules strictly prohibit executives from talking about acquiring players who are under contract with other teams. While Paxson couldn’t really get into specifics, he made it clear Bulls fans should not get excited about a potential Westbrook deal.
“There are teams that are going to take a real shot at someone like that,” he said. “You have to factor in everything. When you look at the financial aspect of a player that’s 30 going out four years (on his contract) and the amount of money that’s going to be made, those things can tie your hands up and put your organization in a tough position.”
Westbrook will turn 31 near the beginning of next season, and he’s owed around $170 million over the next four years. He’s also one of the game’s elite players, which is why we have already heard of teams being interested in making a run at him. Apparently we can cross the Bulls off that list.