We know two things:
First, the Chicago Bulls may consider moving Jimmy Butler this summer if the right offer comes along. Bulls management has denied those rumors, but there are questions about Butler’s leadership and the chemistry in the Chicago locker room.
Second, we know Tom Thibodeau loves Butler.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are prepared to part with the No. 5 overall pick in this month’s draft, as the centerpiece of a trade package, if they can use it to construct a deal for Chicago Bulls star swingman Jimmy Butler, according to league sources….
The No. 5 pick alone clearly wouldn’t be sufficient to pry Butler from the Bulls, but Minnesota’s own cache of trade assets — given the various up-and-coming players on its roster — would theoretically enable the Wolves to either deal with Chicago directly or assemble a multi-team trade scenario.
Do not bet on this. Frankly, don’t bet on any Butler trade this off-season.
First, the Bulls are a conservatively run organization — they don’t make blockbuster trades. It goes against their style. They like to keep players around and build.
Second, the Bulls are going to want a boatload of assets for Butler. The No. 5 pick is a nice start, but what quality starting player are you going to throw in? Then figure out a reserve to add in also. And probably a future second rounder. No, Zach LaVine, Gorgui Dieng and the pick are not going to be enough.
I expect the Bulls will stand pat in the backcourt and try to use their cap space this summer to improve a frontcourt likely to lose Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. Then they will use the money freed up by Rose leaving to go big game hunting in the deep class of 2017.
But don’t expect the Butler trade rumors to stop.