The LA Lakers have been done with their NBA season for only a couple of weeks now, but plans are already being put in place for next season. The 2016 NBA Draft is coming up, and the Lakers have a very good chance of landing the number one overall pick, but they may not keep it. Rumors are starting to fly that the Lakers may actually look to make a trade with the Chicago Bulls for Jimmy Butler.
With the retirement of Kobe Bryant and coming off of the worst season in the history of the franchise, the Lakers are sincerely hoping that things go their way in the NBA Draft Lottery on May 23. Lakers Nation is reporting that they do have a top-three protected pick and a 55.8 percent chance of keeping
As a result of the Steve Nash trade, it could end up going to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Should the Lakers be able to retain their high pick, then it’s quite possible they could decide to trade it away. A number of key players are available in the draft for the top three picks, but Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak could also be looking at talent already in the NBA.
Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls made it clear last summer that he would have loved to have signed a one-year deal with the Lakers last year when he was a restricted free agent. Unfortunately, the salary cap rules wouldn’t allow him to do that and he ended up back with the Bulls.
Shortly after that, he signed a five-year deal with Chicago which was worth $95 million. Now, he still could want to play for the Lakers, but it would take a trade being made, and that deal would likely have to include Los Angeles’ top pick in this year’s draft.
Crossmap is reporting that a trade that would send Butler from Chicago to LA isn’t totally out of the question, and there are already some scenarios.
Bulls general manager Gar Forman did say recently that Jimmy Butler had a “fantastic year”and that he had become a “very, very valuable player for us.” That seems to speak a lot more for a player that could be used as trade bait rather someone to keep around.
One idea being thrown around is for the Lakers to put together a package of Jordan Clarkson and their top draft pick and send it to the Bulls for Butler.
Clarkson is one that many have said would end up being the leader of the Lakers with Kobe Bryant retiring. He averaged 15.5 points, 2.4 assists, and four rebounds-per-game in his second NBA season which, except for the assists, are up from his rookie year.
The Lakers have a lot of work to do before the new season begins as last year was just a mess and they’re losing one of the best players in NBA history. Something needs to change. Many things need to change, and it could come down to some drastic moves being made.
A trade for Jimmy Butler and landing him from the Chicago Bulls wouldn’t necessarily be considered “drastic,” but it would improve things greatly.
Now, it’s not necessarily known what is going to happen once the trading season opens in the NBA, and it’s not even known if the LA Lakers will get the top pick in the draft. No matter what, they’re bound to have a pretty high one, and it could be easily used as trade bait for Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls or any number of players as the Lakers rebuild.
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