Report: Bulls’ Jimmy Butler off trade market

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Will the Bulls trade Jimmy Butler?

Asked about trading his most valuable player, Chicago general manager Gar Forman for whatever reason — potentially speaking honestly about his willingness to deal anyone no matter how unrealistic it would be to find suitable return or sending Butler a message — said, “We’ve got to explore all options.”

That opened a firestorm of speculation.

The Celtics tried to swing a deal. Timberwolves rumors persisted, though Chicago denied those. Fans of every team concocted ideas to land Butler.

But, as the signals pointed all along…

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

Butler is off the market for now, per league sources

Butler is one of the NBA’s best wings, 26 and locked into a contract for three more years that was signed before the new national TV contracts kicked in. If the Bulls trade him, it’ll be for a haul.

In the meantime, they’ll lean on him — accompanied by Dwyane Wade, Robin Lopez and Rajon Rondo — to lead Chicago back into playoffs. How that mission goes could determine whether Chicago engages in serious Butler trade talk.