Jimmy Butler‘s days with the Chicago Bulls could be numbered. NBA rumor mills began churning once the Bulls were eliminated in the NBA playoffs by the Boston Celtics. Is Jimmy Butler going to remain with the Bulls or will he be traded to a team with ideals on winning a championship?
The Chicago Bulls could go in either direction, but a full teardown of their roster seems like the easiest route. If so, if the Bulls choose to trade Jimmy Butler, it would be an end of one the more gratifying underdog stories in sports over the last decade.
When the Bulls took Jimmy Butler with the final pick of the 2011 NBA draft, no one saw the Marquette product becoming a star. Fast forward to 2017, Butler is a three-time NBA All-Star and gold medal winner from the Men’s Olympic basketball team. It is safe to say that Butler has defied the odds.
Getting into his backstory (courtesy of ESPN), which includes homelessness, Jimmy Butler is a success story. If the Chicago Bulls decide to trade him in the NBA offseason, it will add another wrinkle to his rise to superstardom.
— ChicagoSports (@ChicagoSports) April 30, 2017
The idea of being dealt has been weighing on Jimmy Butler’s mind. He wants the Bulls to remain together. Something that Butler was saying after the Bulls’ bitter 105-83 elimination loss to the Boston Celtics was that he prefers the same core (courtesy of the Chicago Tribune). Butler had a ton of praise for Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade.
“Rondo has been huge for us this year, molding these young guys into the type of players they need to be on the floor and in the film room. The way he plays the game, getting everybody involved, I love playing with him. Him and D-Wade. But I don’t know what the future holds for anybody. I’ll sit back and wait on that time to come.”
If the Chicago Bulls decide to trade Jimmy Butler, it would mean that full rebuild is the plan. This would be the draft class for the Bulls to dangle Butler in a trade. Once the draft lottery has been decided, the teams who may target Butler will be revealed. One of those teams is most likely going to be the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics, barring winning the NBA championship this season may find themselves one star player away to get to the promise land. Boston has the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ draft pick. That pick could turn out to be the No. 1 overall pick in June’s draft. If the Celtics land the top selection they could offer it to the Bulls in a trade for Jimmy Butler.
— Bulls Nation (@BullsNationNet) April 29, 2017
Would the Bulls turn down the opportunity to start over with Markelle Fultz, knowing that his upside could surpass that of Jimmy Butler’s? It is something worth debating.
The Chicago Bulls have to consider the possibilities of starting over fresh after an early playoff exit. Being stuck in the middle, the Bulls are no closer to an NBA championship than the Philadelphia 76ers. Even if they were to keep Jimmy Butler and add around him, the Bulls would be in a tough situation.
LeBron James will continue to play with and help lead the Cleveland Cavaliers into championship contention. The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards are only improving. Much of the same can be said for the Milwaukee Bucks, who have Giannis Antetokounmpo as a budding superstar.
With Jimmy Butler, the Bulls have a player nearing his peak. Trading him now would help them get something in return for a player who is close to his potential. It would be wise for the Bulls to see what other moves are out there to add to their roster first. If nothing can materialize that would make them a much better team than they are, hitting the reset button is the best option for the Chicago Bulls.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]