All signs point to Jimmy Butler playing elsewhere when the next NBA season begins. The Chicago Bulls’ star has been the center of attention in the NBA trade rumor mill, as several teams have reached out to the Bulls regarding his availability.
As we know, when it comes to NBA trade rumors, just because there is some interest, it does not guarantee any movement. If the Bulls do decide to trade Jimmy Butler, which teams are the favorites to land him?
As the rumors grow louder leading up to the NBA draft, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Chicago Bulls are at least pondering a team rebuild by shopping Jimmy Butler (courtesy of CSN Chicago) prior to the NBA draft.
The trade rumors surrounding the Bulls’ star were revealed in a CBS Sport’s report about the Boston Celtics turning down a proposal of Butler for the No. 3 overall pick in the draft. Fact, fiction, or somewhere in between, it is the second trade rumor circulating about the Chicago Bulls and the No. 3 pick.
What remains unknown is the complete package the Chicago Bulls are asking for in a trade for Jimmy Butler. A top six draft pick is guaranteed to be the starting point for the huge return the Bulls want and need.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Phoenix Suns join the Celtics as the teams with a confirmed interest in Jimmy Butler. Determining the favorites to land Butler may be an easy proposition.
The Celtics turning down the Bulls early may knock them out of serious consideration for now. Without the inclusion of the No. 3 pick, there is little chance that the Bulls will entertain the Celtics’ trade offers.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will push hard for a Jimmy Butler trade but are they willing to give up Andrew Wiggins? If so, the Timberwolves jump to the front of the line as suitors.
LeBron James wants either Jimmy Butler or Indiana Pacers’ star Paul George to play with him in Cleveland. The Cavaliers have very little to offer the Bulls, except for either Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love. The Cavaliers may be unwilling to part with Irving, while Love does not interest the Bulls at this time.
For the Cavs to acquire Butler, it would require another NBA team to join the trade. What hurts the Cavaliers is the ESPN report that Jimmy Butler would rather stay with the Bulls.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) June 19, 2017
The possibility of earning the super-max contract could be the more than enough reason for Jimmy Butler wanting to stay. In the end, the Bulls must do what is best for the franchise. What is best for the franchise is for the Bulls to trade Butler. The favorites emerging from all of the trade possibilities are the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns work as a destination or an additional facilitator for a Jimmy Butler trade. Their search for a veteran player who has an all-star pedigree is widely known. The Suns have several young players who may or may not pan out. They are willing to part with a couple of young players, as well as the No. 4 pick for a star. And getting either Jimmy Butler or Kevin Love gets the Suns closer to contending for a playoff spot.
Most people around the NBA believes that the Chicago Bulls will deal Jimmy Butler. Unless another team emerges, or the Boston Celtics relinquish the No. 3 pick, look for the Phoenix Suns to somehow be involved.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]