After missing almost an entire season due to an ACL tear, Brandon Rush was traded to the Utah Jazz to play for on the final season of his contract. By the end of this one, however, there’s a good chance he’ll end up playing for the Chicago Bulls.
When healthy, Rush is quite an asset, especially at $4 million a season. He’s one of the finest perimeter defenders in the NBA among players who aren’t obvious starters (averaging 26 minutes a night for his career), and is a very good three point shooter, hitting 41.3% of his shots during his career.
The Jazz proved last season that they don’t mind seeing a valuable contract go to waste – they allowed Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap to hit free agency and simply clear them off the books, instead of getting something in return. This means that Rush, if he’s able to bounce back quite well from his injury, is going to be someone the Jazz don’t mind keeping on the team, even if it means passing on the opportunity of getting something for his $4 million expiring deal.
Why the Bulls? I don’t always agree with Brandon Doolittle’s attempts to twist numbers into what he wants to see from them, the case he makes for how valuable Rush, his defense and three-point shooting are going to be for the Bulls, especially as the playoffs come up, makes perfect sense.
It might be surprising to hear, but the Bulls don’t have a single pure shooting guard on the roster. Jimmy Butler will start at the position and we’ll see Kirk Hinrich there as well, but the Bulls are going to struggle from beyond the arc more likely than not.
Brandon Rush doesn’t always make sense because of his shooting ability, but because Thibodeau won’t add a player who can’t fit into his defensive schemes to the team. It might be slightly early to predict how teams will behave six months from now, but this potential future trade makes almost perfect sense.