Now that the Golden State Warriors have completely changed the NBA scene by signing the seven-time NBA All-Star Kevin Durant, other major contenders have been forced to make some big moves. That includes the defending NBA Champions. While the Cleveland Cavaliers have arguably the most impressive “big three” in the NBA — LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love — the Cavs were just barely able to outplay the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Just days after LeBron’s good friend and former teammate Dwayne Wade went on record as saying that the Chicago Bulls are still Jimmy Butler’s team, one of the latest NBA rumors is that Cleveland really hopes they can lure Butler away from Chicago as they pursue back-to-back titles. While the duo of Butler and Wade could very easily be enough to thrust the Bulls back into the NBA postseason, the addition of Butler to the Cleveland squad could be just the answer the Cavs need to the Warriors signing Durant.
As recently as three weeks ago, the Inquisitr reported that the Chicago Bulls had taken Jimmy Butler off the trading block. It seems likely that the prospect of playing with Butler and Rajon Rondo was a big part of the reason that Dwyane Wade left the Miami Heat to sign with the Bulls. But Chicago’s latest version of the “big three” may never come to be if Butler leaves Chicago for another team like Cleveland.
As noted by the Gospel Herald, the Bulls lineup has gone through considerable changes in the offseason already. Pau Gasol moved to the Western Conference to sign with the San Antonio Spurs. Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah stayed in the Eastern Conference but will be playing for the New York Knicks in the 2016-17 NBA season. The signing of Dwayne Wade helps to make up for some of that lost talent, but Chicago will have another tough season ahead if Butler signs with the Cavaliers (or any other team).
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Chicago’s front office has gone on record to say that no one on their team is “untouchable,” and that includes Jimmy Butler. That being the case, the Herald made note that the Cavs are one of the teams most aggressively pursuing a Butler trade with the Bulls. With Kyrie Irving at point guard, Jimmy Butler at shooting guard, LeBron James at small forward, and Kevin Love at power forward, Cleveland could be far and away the best team in the NBA.
Comcast Sports noted how well Butler and Irving are getting along as part of Team USA’s basketball squad in the Rio Olympics. As the video below shows, the two were caught on video singing Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” together. Although a far cry from proving they would work well together on the court, it gives Cleveland fans just enough hope that the chemistry is there.
However, with the Chicago Bulls signing Dwyane Wade, it would appear that they want to make a serious run at the NBA Playoffs. That would mean that they aren’t going to let go of Butler easily. It’s hard to imagine that Chicago would be interested in trading with Cleveland if at least one of the Cavs’ “big three” — most likely Kevin Love — wasn’t offered up as part of a multi-player deal to send Jimmy to play with LeBron.
With almost three months left before the 2016-17 NBA season begins, the starting lineups and depth charts for both the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers could change significantly. With both Kevin Love’s and Jimmy Butler’s names constantly being run through the rumor mill, there’s still plenty of time for more shake-up in the Eastern Conference.
[Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]