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Report: Russell Westbrook being recruited by 1 coach

Russell Westbrook with his arm out

Nov 23, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts during the third quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook is weighing his options with a buyout agreement expected between him and the Utah Jazz, and there is at least one coach who has reportedly reached out to recruit the star point guard.

In the latest episode of his “#thisleague UNCUT” podcast, Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes said he was told by sources that Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan has made a recruiting pitch to Westbrook.

“I was told Billy Donovan with the Bulls, his message has been relayed to Russ, that Chicago should be the place for him,” Haynes said, as transcribed by HoopsHype. “So I don’t know. I don’t know if they’ve talked extensively. I don’t know if it was a text. But I was told his message has been relayed to Russ, that Chicago should be the place.”

The Los Angeles Lakers sent Westbrook to Utah last week as part of a three-team trade. While Jazz general manager Justin Zanik said Westbrook is open to playing in Utah, a buyout remains likely. Westbrook has been linked to the Bulls, though he is said to have interest in two other teams that are stronger contenders.

The Bulls entered Monday with a record of 26-30. They are currently in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, and their situation is very similar to that of the Lakers. If Westbrook has an opportunity to join a team that seems more certain to make the playoffs, Donovan is going to have to put together quite the recruiting pitch to convince the veteran to sign with Chicago.

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