Bulls Thinking About Trading Jimmy Butler?

The Bulls appear to be considering the idea of a Jimmy Butler trade this summer, according to “rumblings” that Chris Mannix of The Vertical has heard (video link; scroll to 6:40 mark). Mannix, who says there’s “legitimate interest in Chicago in potentially dealing Jimmy Butler this offseason,” doesn’t make it entirely clear just how willing the Bulls would be to trade the swingman who signed a five-year, $92.34MM deal last summer, but it nonetheless looks like it’s not out of the question.

Several executives who spoke with Mannix identified the Magic as a team to watch regarding Butler, as Mannix wrote earlier this week, when he confirmed earlier reporting that the Celtics, among others, reached out to gauge Chicago’s interest in a deal at the deadline. The Bulls turned those teams away, but execs told Mannix that they’re going to try again.

Butler made waves in December when he criticized coach Fred Hoiberg, who’s also in the first year of a five-year contract, for his laid-back demeanor and said he wanted to be coached harder. Butler insisted that he didn’t mean to call out Hoiberg, but some around the Bulls have seen Butler as selfish and were confused about why Butler wasn’t embracing Hoiberg’s offense, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported around that time.

The Bulls played well for a stretch after Butler’s comments about the coach, winning seven of their next nine games, but injuries to Butler and others and poor play in the time since have left Chicago at 37-37, two games behind the Pacers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. A strained left knee kept Butler out for a month earlier this season, and he sat three more games right after coming back March 5th, leading Vertical colleague Bobby Marks to express concern about his long-term health in the same video.

Butler has played in every game since March 14th but has averaged only 14.3 points in 33.8 minutes per game. Overall, he’s posting a career high 21.0 points per game this season.

What would a fair deal for Butler look like? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

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25 thoughts on “Bulls Thinking About Trading Jimmy Butler?

  1. I think what frustrates me the most about this is the sudden shift to “rebuild” when they refused to deal Pau Gasol at the deadline because they wanted to “go for it”….waste.
    As for what’s fair? Id hope they could secure at least 1 starter-caliber guy and a 1st round pick (or 2), especially considering the bounty of picks some trade partners have.

    • Dustin

      Kris Middleton and the Bucks 2016 1st round pick is a good starting point. Bucks could maybe throw in John Henson as the Bulls will need some size moving forward.

  2. aarongill

    Weren’t there some rumors he wanted to sign a one year deal with the lakers last year? Even if they were not true lakers could offer Russell, Randle and their top three pick assuming they keep it. Buss would do it hoping butler could attract free agents.

    Celtics could give Bradley or smart, 2016,2018 nets picks mavs pick their own first in 2017 and one of their bigs for butler

    Sixers could give okafor and their collection of picks for butler.

    Magic would probably have to include dipo in any butler trade.

      • Agreed with basicmo…

        Lakers offer would probably start with Russell and at least two (if not all three) of Clarkson/Nance/Randle plus the top 3 pick if the Lakers actually keep it.
        Boston’s offer would probably start at some combination of Bradley/Smart/Olynyk/Sully/James Young/Hunter/Crowder plus two first rounders (depending on which and how many players are sent, one of those could be the Nets pick).
        Sixers’ offer would probably start at one (maybe two) of Okafor/Noel/Saric, Covington,picks and maybe Embiid if Chicago wants to take on a reclamation project but I doubt it.
        Magic’s offer would probably start at Oladipo, Fournier (sign and trade maybe), picks, and probably one of Gordon/Payton (if Chicago wants him).

        And that’s all assuming Chicago wants to go through a rebuild. If they’re trying to retool and make another run…I don’t think the Lakers or Sixers could make a good enough offer.

        • Z-A

          Butler is good, but you’re not coming away with 2 of Okafor, Noel and Saric, plus Embiid and picks… you smoke too much weed.

          • I agree that two of Okafor/Noel/Saric would be too much, but was just throwing out a hypothetical. Depending on where that pick falls, the rest of the deal changes. A top two pick probably means a deal can be structured around Noel, pick plus another filler or two (maybe Covington or Landry as you mentioned below for cap purposes, although Chicago might not want to take back too much salary). If the pick fell out of the top 2 (which I’m not sure if thats possible considering their record but I don’t know for sure), Embiid might not be that bad of a bargaining chip to send back. Maybe Noel, first rounder outside the top two, Embiid and Landry for Butler and another player (Gibson maybe?) or two.

  3. ArmandB3429

    Personally I would love it if the heat traded for him to carry the torch from Wade with a package of Winslow, a first and second round pick, and McRoberts but that isn’t very realistic because of the Heat’s lack of draft picks for a few years.

    I think a very realistic option for the bulls is trading him to the pelicans for Eric Gordon, 2 future first round picks, and Norris Cole.

    • Z.....

      As a Heat fan, I’ve always like Butler, but there is zero chance of that happening for multiple reasons. I personally wouldn’t move Winslow, and the Heat don’t have picks they can trade until draft day, and even then those picks would be a few years away.

      Eric Gordon is a free agent

  4. This sounds like they will be selling low, because of the how Butler and the Bull’s season has gone. I think the Celtics are the best team to acquire Butler. They have assets and bigs. They could also absorb Taj Gibson’s contract too which could lessen the amount/ quality of picks traded. The Lakers have an outside shot. Depending on what pick they land.

    • Stromalama

      They aren’t selling low on one of the top two best two way players in the NBA.

      • Just curious, not really disagreeing with your statement, but who else do you consider in that top two? I imagine Kawhi Leonard, but Draymond Green, Paul George and LeBron could all arguably be in that top two. I think you could also possibly throw Klay Thompson and a healthy Marc Gasol as being slightly behind those top 6 guys.

        • Stromalama

          It was meant to say top two, two way guards. I’d say Butler, Leonard and Klay Thompson are a pretty interchangeable 1-3.

  5. 0 chance they trade Butler, he’s the best player on the team and still in his prime

  6. Z.....

    I can’t believe things have escalated like this with the Bulls. They’ve had injuries, but I personally think that they’ve had terrible coaching (they’re not alone in that regard). They haven’t used viable rotations all season, for the most part. It’s like they have no identity. They’re somewhere in the middle of different ways to play. They brought in Hoiberg to open up the floor and play with pace, but they haven’t done that. But they’re also not playing the way they used to either. The in-between approach has also definitely effected their defense. It’s unfortunate that it has come to this for them, and this is the end of their most recent run. There is still things that can be tweaked on the roster, but it’s hard to gauge exactly what they’re trying to do

  7. Any trade involving Jimmy would hopefully land the Bulls at least one young, cheap starter and multiple unprotected firsts. Would rather the Bulls not deal him, but I don’t consider anyone on this roster untouchable.

  8. Z-A

    #1 overall pick + Noel + Landry’s expiring contract to salary match. I don’t think it takes more than that. No one is going to offer a better deal than that. Lakers aren’t going to trade Russell and Randle and Clarkson. Celtics are looking to move their picks, not necessarily all of their players. They can’t draft 7 players this year, so they have to move the picks. Also, the nets 2017 pick may not be a lotto pick next year, they have 27M in cap space, 33 if the cut Jack’s non-guaranteed contract – they don’t need to make huge moves to improve their roster to bubble playoff level if Lopez is healthy.

  9. It would be nice for 76ers to trade for butler something like okafor the Lakers okc and Miami picks

  10. Apparently the Magic had offered or were offered Vuc and another player plus a draft pick for Butler. I’d do that deal, then sign Whiteside to a solid deal starting at $15M per year.

  11. Brandon

    If you think the lakers are trading three talented young players and there top three pick for just jimmy butler your crazy. He’s good but he isn’t that good. He may be a strong talent but he isn’t even an allstar? Chill out people and be realistic.

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