How can Chicago fix both problems simultaneously?
I’ve been hearing rumbling that there is legitimate interest in Chicago in potentially dealing Jimmy Butler this offseason.
I’d be very surprised if the Bulls actually trade Butler.
Just 26, he’s arguably the best shooting guard in the NBA (though I’d give James Harden – and only Harden – the edge). Certainly, no other shooting guard matches Butler’s prowess on both ends of the floor. He’s also locked up for three more seasons on a contract signed before the salary cap skyrockets.
If the Bulls keep their aging core together, Butler is good enough to help a team win now. If Chicago rebuilds, Butler is young enough to lead the next generation.
Simply, Butler’s value is incredibly high. If the Bulls receive good return, there’d be nothing inherently wrong with trading him, but it’s rare teams sell high on a star.
This strikes me as Chicago trying to appease other players who are down on Butler and send a message to Butler, whose ascent has reportedly come with egotistical complications. Maybe Butler’s teammates appreciate the organization attempting to address the problem, and perhaps the threat of being dealt scares Butler straight.
But that posturing is a long way from a trade actually occurring.
If the Bulls shop Butler, they should get plenty of offers. The Celtics reportedly tried to acquire Butler before the trade deadline. Others will have serious interest if they believe Butler is attainable.
I’m just not convinced he actually will be.