The next couple of hours or so will be telling for the Chicago Bulls. Are they in rebuilding mode, or just retooling as Bulls’ general manager Gar Forman suggested shortly after making a shocking trade. We will soon find out the direction of the Bulls as a franchise with the NBA Draft just hours away.
The Bulls have already traded former NBA MVP Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. Armed with one of the most coveted players in the NBA trade market in Jimmy Butler, the Bulls may not be done making changes.
According to Sports Mockery, several teams are trying to put together a strong offer that will blow the Bulls away.
Orlando is one of several teams pursuing Jimmy Butler. Also, Houston is trying to get into the 1st round and is offering Patrick Beverley
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) June 23, 2016
Not that the Bulls are shopping Butler. Several teams view the Bulls as a club on the verge of a rebuild. They would like to pounce on a golden opportunity if Bulls decide to undergo a purge of the roster.
Jimmy Butler is the one player on the Bulls who has legitimate trade value. Teams such as the Boston Celtics believe Butler as one of the final pieces to contention. And then there are other teams who want him in order to help get their teams over the hump. One of those teams are the Minnesota Timberwolves.
— ✶ Sports Mockery ✶ (@sportsmockery) June 23, 2016
Will a team be able to convince the Chicago Bulls to part ways with Jimmy Butler?
It was reported that the Bulls may have turned down an offer from the Celtics. No one knows how firm that offer was. The Bulls could have turned down the deal because the Celtics do not have what they are looking for. The Celtics will indeed make another push and they will not be the only team.
Jimmy Butler’s name keeps generating some buzz in the NBA trade rumor mills. It does not help matters that the Bulls remain mum on the trade allegations. There are some rumblings about the Los Angeles Lakers considering the idea of throwing their names in the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes. The Lakers are supposedly offering the second overall pick in tonight’s draft.
Bulls are intrigued with trading Jimmy Butler for the Lakers #2 overall pick reports @GeryWoelfel.
— LegionNBA (@MySportsLegion) June 23, 2016
Having the No. 2 pick could be enough to at least get the Chicago Bulls listening. Especially if they see themselves starting over, with the hopes of contending for NBA championships in the next five years. Duke’s Brandon Ingram is the consensus second-best player in this year’s draft. It is an underwhelming draft class after the top two players.
Top pick Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram are projected to become stars in the league. Jimmy Butler is a really good player, and a star in his own right. The ceilings for Simmons and Ingram are expected to be greater.
If the Bulls were to take a chance and accept an offer from the Lakers, it would be another bold statement. Trading Derrick Rose took guts. But to trade Jimmy Butler the following day would suggest something more. Sustained success would be the message given to Bulls’ fans.
With sustained success comes sacrifice. How good are the Chicago Bulls with Jimmy Butler as the star? Playoff contender is a given. Still, they would be no closer to an NBA championship than the Philadelphia 76ers. Being just good enough to make the NBA playoffs should require an unsatisfactory response. That is where the Bulls are if they do not do something bold.
If it is true that the Los Angeles Lakers want to give up the second overall pick for Jimmy Butler, the Chicago Bulls are going to think long and hard about it.
Other pieces would have to be added to the deal to make it work. The Bulls need a power forward. They are in the position to ask for Julius Randle. A lineup consisting of Randle, Ingram, Doug McDermott, and the newly acquired Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez could also contend for a spot in the NBA playoffs, as long as everyone develops. The only difference is that the Bulls would be a looked upon as a team on the rise, not in decline.
This only happens if the Chicago Bulls were to agree to trade Jimmy Butler to the Los Angeles Lakers. And the Lakers should be the one team who the Bulls will likely entertain, unless the Boston Celtics somehow come up with a bold offer.
The NBA trade rumors will keep churning out Jimmy Butler’s name until the night is over. The Chicago Bulls are listening to the offers. Will the Bulls pull off another stunning trade?
[Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images]