If you believe any of the NBA trade rumors regarding Jimmy Butler (courtesy of the Chicago Tribune), the Bulls have heard from the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Each team envisions Jimmy Butler as the star player who can get them to the next step. Now, the latest chatter from the trade rumor mill has the Minnesota Timberwolves as the latest team interested in acquiring the two-time all-star. Things will undoubtedly become interesting for the Bulls between now and the NBA Draft.
Scanning through some of the rumors/reaction one day after the Celtics landed the No. 3 pick: https://t.co/L9MFOARc0I
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) May 18, 2016
In one of the not-so stunning NBA trade rumors, the Chicago Bulls could ship Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. And it is a trade rumor that makes a ton of sense for both teams.
There are a couple of questions that are in need of answers to determine if there can be a match here between the Bulls and Timberwolves. Ponder all of the possibilities before the idea of any trade can take place.
What Is Jimmy Butler’s Trade Value?
Figuring out what Butler is worth is a difficult proposition for the Bulls. His worth will determine what the Bulls can get in return. Butler is not an elite player of the LeBron James and Stephen Curry mold, though he is a difference-maker on offense and defense. If his offensive abilities catch up to his defense, he will reach the status of a first-tier NBA star.
As it currently stands, Jimmy Butler is in the second-tier group among James Harden, Draymond Green, and John Wall.
The difference in being a top-tier star and a second-tier star is that the top-tier star is usually not available for a trade. The second-tier star can be had for some measly draft picks and players who have the potential to be all-stars at some point in their tenure with the team that brings them aboard.
Given this formula, Jimmy Butler is worth two draft picks, one lower lottery and one non-lottery selection to the Bulls. Those picks must come with an up and coming talent who could be plugged in as a starter at some juncture.
There will be some resistance to what Butler’s trade value is to the Bulls. Consider Klay Thompson as the perfect comparison to Jimmy Butler. Thompson is a better offensive player, while Butler is a better defender. Depending on what a team’s preference is, they provide something which is regarded as a premium. Neither of them have noticeable flaws. Butler’s offense is as good as Thompson’s defense. They are mirror images, in a sense. And the Chicago Bulls must consider Klay Thompson while entertaining any offers for Jimmy Butler.
If any team were to offer the Golden State Warriors anything less than two draft picks and a player of significance, they would get laughed at. It must be the same case for the Bulls with Jimmy Butler. Simply put, a team has to offer the Bulls a lot for him.
What Offer For Jimmy Butler Makes Sense For The Chicago Bulls?
NBA trade rumors are interesting depending on which team gets the better end of the deal. One trade rumor that might sound nice is the Chicago Bulls trading Jimmy Butler to the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 2 pick.
Again, that sounds nice. Either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram will be the No. 2 pick, depending on what the Philadelphia 76ers decide to do after winning the draft lottery. Is either player a fit with the Bulls?
If Butler is still on the Bulls, either would work well complimentary pieces. Without Jimmy Butler, the Bulls are staring at a rebuilding project.
Unless the players and picks match well, a trade would hurt both the Bulls and Timberwolves. The Bulls would get a player with the potential to be a good pro, but then that player could become a bust.
For example, during the 2008 NBA draft, the two best players were Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley. The Bulls were the draft lottery winners that season, and they went with Rose. Given that he is a Chicago native, it was a no-brainer for the Bulls to draft him. The Bulls made the right choice. Rose went on to win a Most Valuable Player award. In the meantime, Michael Beasley became a player who has bounced around a little bit.
Would the Bulls be interested in trading a proven commodity for a virtual unknown? It would be foolish to do so without getting an additional asset.
If the NBA trade rumor mill is accurate about the Bulls and Timberwolves looking at the possibilities of a Jimmy Butler deal, figure that Minnesota would have to give up a lot.
Any trade should have to involve the Bulls getting back guard Zach LaVine in return, plus draft picks.
Zach LaVine is an athletic wing player with no set position. He is capable of putting up a scoring average of 17 points a game at this time. That would be a downgrade for the Bulls; therefore, draft picks must be added to balance any deal.
— steve rosenbloom (@steverosenbloom) May 19, 2016
The Timberwolves may balk at the idea of parting ways with LaVine since his ceiling is enormous. Most importantly, why would the new team president and coach Tom Thibodeau help out the Bulls, his former club? It could simply be that Thibodeau would merely be helping himself by getting Jimmy Butler, a player that he knows, while shipping out a player who may or may not be a fit.
Are The Bulls Serious About Trading Jimmy Butler?
Judging from what has taken place this offseason, the Bulls will have to be blown away by an offer for them to trade their star.
Not only did Butler represent the Bulls at the draft lottery, but many are speculating that he was one of the driving forces behind the reported ouster of (courtesy of NBC Sports) Jen Swanson. Swanson was the director of sports performance. The Bulls will replace Swanson soon. Perhaps by someone who is associated with Butler. There was a tweet by CSN Chicago’s Vincent Goodwill about the Minnesota Timberwolves reaching out to Butler’s trainer for the same job title with the team. That will add more fuel to the fire of a possible Bulls and Timberwolves deal.
Sources close to T’Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau says he’s offering strength/conditioning job to Travelle Gaines, Jimmy Butler’s trainer
— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) May 18, 2016
The NBA trade rumors will not cease until the NBA draft have come and gone. For now, it does not appear that the Bulls will trade Jimmy Butler. Finding the proper trade value for him will be difficult for the Bulls.
Do you believe that the Chicago Bulls will trade Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves?
[Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]