Sources with knowledge of the Bulls’ thinking emphatically deny the notion that All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler is available.
Butler is 27, playing like a superstar and locked up until 2019 on a team-friendly contract. He’s incredibly valuable, and it’d be difficult for another team to assemble a trade package that accounts for those factors.
It’d be practically impossible for another team to account for Butler’s unique value to Chicago.
The new veteran-designated-player rule could give the Bulls – and only the Bulls – a huge advantage in extending or resigning Butler. Those rights aren’t transferred in a trade. They exist because Chicago drafted and kept him.
So, unless another team has a vastly different perception than the Bulls of Butler’s abilities, he’s way more valuable in Chicago than anywhere else. Hence, a trade seems next to impossible.