Russell Westbrook missed by one rebound posting a triple-double in the Thunder’s Jan. 9 victory over the Bulls at the United Center.

But his current triple double averages in his quest to match Oscar Robertson’s historic 1961-62 season as the only player to do so for a full campaign amazes his peers.

"It’s remarkable. It’s incredible," Dwyane Wade said. "Just the force that he plays with every game, the energy that he plays with. Everyone talks about it. That’s a talent in itself, on top of his ability.

"He has done an unbelievable job of leading that team, of helping those guys believe. He’s a phenomenal talent himself who can will a game by himself. But when he has his team behind him, they’re that much more special."

Rookie re-route: As the Bulls traveled to Oklahoma City and eventually West on a six-game trip, Denzel Valentine headed East. Coach Fred Hoiberg said Betasus the plan is for Valentine to play three games in New York with the Windy City Bulls of the Development League on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

"We’ll re-evaluate from there to see how things are going with our team and see if we want to get him back," Hoiberg said. "If something happens to anybody in our backcourt, we’ll get him on the first plane out there. We wanted to get him some game action. He played a solid game the other night for Windy City."

Hoiberg said the plan is to get Valentine in ballhandling or playmaking roles. After falling behind second-round pick Paul Zipser in the rotation, Valentine scored 24 points in his Development League debut Saturday.

"He accepted it. He’s always going to do what’s asked of him," Hoiberg said. "He’s going to have a great future in this league."

Forward thinking: Taj Gibson practiced fully and is on track to return to the starting lineup after sitting out Sunday with a sore left ankle. If Gibson’s ankle reacts unfavorably at Wednesday’s morning shootaround, Hoiberg said Bobby Portis likely would start again.

"The plan is to have him available," Hoiberg said. "We’ll see how he responds to this activity in the morning. We’ll hopefully have him back in the lineup without any restrictions."

Layups: Free agent Kirk Hinrich is scheduled to work out with other guards for the Cavaliers on Wednesday as LeBron James has continued his calls for reinforcements to their injury-plagued roster. The longtime former Bull, 36, has been working out to stay in shape for such an opportunity. … The Bulls don’t return to the United Center until Feb. 14 against the Raptors.

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