Once the NBA season officially ends with free agency and the NBA Draft being right around the corner, it’s typical for trade rumors to spiral out of control. You hear talks of superstars like Carmelo Anthony or Blake Griffin being traded and ridiculous rumors that never end up being true whatsoever.
One of these rumors would be the Bulls being open to trading Jimmy Butler. Jimmy Butler is the cornerstone for the Bulls’ franchise and the best player on their team. Hell, he even went to represent the team for the NBA Draft Lottery. If that doesn’t scream face of the team I don’t know what does.
Derrick Rose was rumored to be on his way out of Chicago, and that just happened to actually happen. Rose was traded to the New York Knicks in exchange for Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon, and Jerian Grant. Derrick Rose was the face of the Bulls since he got drafted back in 2008. He led the team to the playoffs for multiple seasons and won the MVP award during his first few years in Chicago. After his injuries started to occur, Jimmy Butler started to take over Rose’s role as the star player and go-to guy.
The Bulls are rumored to wanting to start rebuilding their team since Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol are most likely leaving. This became obvious after the Derrick Rose trade was announced. With Derrick Rose out the door, what did that mean for Butler? Would he be the next one to go or would he be the clear player the Bulls would build around?
Jimmy Butler is a star in this league, no question. He’s one of the best on-ball defenders and has established himself as a great offensive player. Trading Butler would be the wrong move for the Bulls to make if they’re trying to rebuild. Losing players like Noah, Gasol, and Rose is definitely taking a step back, but trading Butler is moving in the wrong direction as far as a rebuild goes. If Butler is traded who would the Bulls build around? Doug McDermott? Why trade a guy that’s an elite defender and puts of 21 points a game? That’s the kind of player you want to build your team around. They’d be stupid to trade him.
For months Butler has been in trade talks, particularly with the Boston Celtics, and most recently the Minnesota Timberwolves. Both teams would love to add Butler, but how likely is that to happen? Just because Butler’s name is thrown around in trade talk doesn’t mean he’s actually available. The Bulls can hear all the offers they want but that doesn’t mean they’re looking to trade him.
The Celtics reportedly offered their 3rd overall pick in the draft and then some for Butler. The Bulls could build around the player they’d select if they were to accept the trade, but why build around a player that needs to develop rather than a player that’s already established himself as a star in this league? This is the same with the Timberwolves, who reportedly offered the 5th pick and then some for Butler. If I were the Bulls I wouldn’t listen to a single trade offer unless it’s a ‘godfather’ offer they can’t help but consider.
Expect the Bulls to keep Jimmy Butler this offseason and have him for the start of the season. It’s hard to imagine Butler going anywhere, at least for now. Perhaps a trade offer comes around the Bulls can’t refuse. But unless that happens, expect Butler to stay in a Bulls’ uniform at least until his current contract is up.