NBA trade rumors have been popping up regarding the Chicago Bulls, and more specifically, NBA All-Star small forward Jimmy Butler. Bleacher Report details the prevailing theory that the Bulls are considering going into a rebuilding phase, and that Jimmy Butler would be a valuable trade piece that would bring a nice haul of assets to Chicago. Yahoo! Sports also weighed in on the subject, stating that many NBA executives believe that the Bulls would consider dealing Butler sometime between now and the summer of 2017.
One team that has mostly been quiet in the rumor mill is the Portland Trail Blazers, but there are now whispers that they too might be contemplating a significant trade in the near future. ESPN discussed the admiration Blazers general manager Neil Olshey has for shooting guard C.J. McCollum,but shares Olshey’s thoughts that Portland is ahead of schedule as a team and that a blockbuster trade to bring in a superstar player might need to be considered sooner than he originally expected. Olshey knows that in order to make a deal like that happen, he might have to part with a valuable asset like McCollum.
One of the current NBA trade rumors swirling online has the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers linked to a possible deal. The rumored scenario has Jimmy Butler going to the Blazers in exchange for C.J. McCollum and power forward Al-Farouq Aminu. Is this a swap that could take place now or in the future? Let’s examine this rumored trade proposal and evaluate the potential of this three-player deal.
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If the Chicago Bulls made this trade, they would be left with Doug McDermott as their starter at small forward. McDermott has shown some progress as an NBA player, but this would be a huge downgrade. Additionally, the Bulls have veteran star Dwyane Wade at shooting guard and promising rookie Denzel Valentine waiting in the wings. This transaction would create an awkward fit in Chicago and would not necessarily set them up any better for the future. Al-Farouq Aminu would also be a spare part on the Bulls’ roster since they are already loaded at power forward (Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, and Bobby Portis).
This hypothetical deal appears to make more sense for the Trail Blazers. Jimmy Butler would be a huge upgrade over Portland’s current starter at small forward, Moe Harkless. Losing McCollum would clearly be a blow to the Blazers’ lineup, but shooting guard Allen Crabbe seems ready to assume a larger role, and he would be a solid replacement if McCollum is dealt. Meyers Leonard would step in for Aminu at power forward, so everything considered, this swap would look pretty good from Neil Olshey’s point of view.
The final parameter to inspect is the legitimacy of this NBA trade rumor from the perspective of the NBA league office, and things fall apart quickly in this regard. The combined salaries of these players are not even close to achieving the required match, and due to each team’s particular roster situation, no similar deal can be constructed that would allow the Bulls and Blazers to swap Jimmy Butler and C.J. McCollum while also remaining within NBA trade and salary cap guidelines. The ESPN NBA Trade Machine helps us confirm that this theoretical trade would not be a legal transaction, so Chicago and Portland would be out of luck if they attempted to negotiate a trade involving Butler and McCollum.
The latest NBA trade rumors being shared and discussed on the internet are hinting at a potential deal between the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers. The rumored proposal makes sense for the Blazers, but it is not something the Bulls would consider. Finally, the structure of this rumored offer would not be approved by the NBA, so even if there was mutual interest in dealing Butler for McCollum and Aminu, this three-player trade would not be realistic.
[Featured Image by Steve Dykes/AP Images]