Jimmy Butler is a “lock” to get the max this summer, Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes, while sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com that the Knicks and Lakers are the teams that draw most frequent mention as potential suitors. It jibes with earlier reports from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune, who wrote in January that the Bulls planned to quickly entice Butler to commit to a max deal, and from Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops and Shams Charania of RealGM, who identified the Knicks and Lakers, respectively, as likely suitors. In any case, it seems like Butler will be back with Chicago, with the question centering on just how long of a contract he’ll sign, as Lowe examines.
We’re keeping up with all the Tom Thibodeau rumors here, but we’ll round up more from Chicago in this post, with a little opinion on Thibs sprinkled in, as the Bulls lick their wounds from Thursday’s playoff ouster:
- Lowe, in the same piece, speculates that Taj Gibson is the most likely trade candidate on the Bulls and relays that executives around the league are curious about whether Joakim Noah, whose contract is up after next season, is indeed too banged up to ever return to peak form.
- The Bulls have a workout scheduled with Virginia small forward Justin Anderson soon after this week’s draft combine, MassLive’s Jay King tweets. Anderson is also working out with the Celtics, as we passed along earlier.
- Tom Thibodeau’s sub-.500 playoff record and resistance to hiring an offensive-minded assistant are among the reasons why the Bulls would be justified in letting him go, Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune opines.
- Defense has defined Thibodeau’s teams, but Chicago’s most pressing need in the offseason is to find a way to force more turnovers next season, as Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com opines in an Insider-only piece.