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Report: Russell Westbrook ‘expected’ to choose between Heat and Bulls this week following buyout

Westbrook has interest in joining the Miami Heat.

NBA: Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With the trade deadline now over, all Heat fans have to look forward to at this point in terms of acquiring new talent is the buyout market. There are plenty of talented players in that market currently who can make a positive impact on this Miami Heat team. I went over some of the realistic options as well as including almost everyone who will be available in my last article:

There is one name who has repeatedly resurfaced in a buyout situation all season long and still is; Russell Westbrook. The former MVP PG for the LA Lakers got traded to the Utah Jazz before the deadline. He is expected to be bought out and available for any team to pick up for a discounted price. It is similar to a free agency decision except it is not a long term agreement and comes much cheaper. It was reported just a couple days ago that Westbrook is interested in Miami via the Athletic.

Today though, a new report came out showing the interest is more serious. He is expected to decide between the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls as soon as this week, and Miami is supposedly well-positioned to be active in this year’s buyout market.

Westbrook is someone who brings a strong personality into the locker room, but can make a positive impact on this team. Although Russ is a clear streaky shooter which doesn’t help with shooting percentages and efficiency’s, he is still a threat in other ways. He can help push the pace, play make and create easier looks for the team’s shooters like Tyler Herro, Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Caleb Martin, etc.

The former all-nba talent is still a triple double machine and is averaging 7.5 assists on the year. He is still able to penetrate and get to the basket at will and create some offense whether it’s for himself or others. Take a look at his season stats compared to his career stats:

Russell Westbrook is a high-market name to have, he is one of the best players to ever play and part of the top 75 player club of all time. He holds the all-time triple double record and regardless of what struggles he may have had in LA is well respected by his piers. Personally, I think the Westbrook slander has been a bit unnecessary. He was put into a tough situation and forced to fit in right off the bat in a projected super team under the bright lights of Hollywood with LeBron James.

He tried all he could, was professional about everything, and kept an optimistic mindset throughout. Sure, it didn’t work with the Lakers, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work elsewhere. On the Washington Wizards just 2 seasons ago he averaged a triple double and brought them to the playoffs. Maybe a change of scenery in a positive atmosphere and strong team culture like Miami can re-create his old abilities. The way I think of it is he can’t possibly be worth than what Kyle Lowry has shown as of late. Even in a down year for Russ he still has considerably better stats than Lowry.

Lowry is averaging 12.0 PPG, 5.3 APG, and 4.3 RPG on 39.6% shooting. All those stats are worse than what Westbrook has done this season. Having an insurance option like Westbrook also provides more depth in what has been an injury prone backcourt in Miami. Westbrook’s passion, intensity, and two-way talent can provide a boost. In a low risk, high reward type of situation, Westbrook could be a steal.

If it doesn’t work out, at least it was for a bargain. If it does though, it could help solidify a playoff berth on route to another NBA Finals run in a now less stacked Eastern Conference following Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s departures in Brooklyn.