Derrick Rose, as is often the case recently, is not playing. As the entire fan base prepares for his return, again, most have agreed that he will not be the Rose we saw before. Rose will undoubtedly be at least a step slower, while we can assume he also won’t be as aggressive as he once was. He may cause problems as he is taking up a lot of salary space and doesn’t add what the Bulls really need, a guy who can score in bunches.
The Thunder have a slight problem with Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is a smaller, less-efficient Kevin Durant, which would be great if he didn’t play with Durant. Westbrook is not as good as Durant, yet seems to be willing to match him shot-for-shot. He can score, but doesn’t really like passing to the better shooter.
While the Bulls need a guy to score and create his own shots, the Thunder need a passer who will give the ball to Durant. It could be that a trade involving Rose and Westbrook make sense for both sides.
The Bulls would get that shooter and someone who scores points in bunches. The Thunder get a guy who won’t be as explosive, but can still drive the lane and kick out to Durant if needed. Rose for Westbrook makes too much sense.
This is not a rumor, nor do I think either side will even consider this trade, but throwing in a few draft picks from the Bulls would make this a very enticing trade for the Thunder, or maybe they’re sold that Rose will return as an MVP-caliber player and the Bulls could receive draft picks.
According to ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine, the two players could be traded in a one-for-one trade, as the two have very similar contracts. Obviously, this doesn’t take in to account personalities and just worries about money, as both sides could look at this trade and not be interested.
The Bulls could see Westbrook as a player that hasn’t won an MVP and has lower up-side. The Thunder could see Rose as an injured shell of what was a great player.
But the Bulls may see the obvious offensive upgrade and be willing to part with the potential, while the Thunder might also see the injury history of Westbrook and similarities to Durant.
Both sides would have a lot to think about, and in the end the deal will more than likely never become a reality. But the thought of Westbrook joining a team in major need of offensive help while also unloading a constant point of disappointment is enticing. I’m getting excited just thinking about it.