Jimmy Butler Trade: The Chicago Bulls’ Franchise Player Could Be On The Move

With the NBA trade deadline looming, NBA trade rumors are at their peak. Everyone from Paul George to DeMarcus Cousins has had their name thrown around as part of proposed packaged deals. As far as the Chicago Bulls are concerned, Jimmy Butler has been the official face of the franchise for the last few years now. Even last season, if you were to bring up even the slightest whisper of a possible Jimmy Butler trade, you’d have been looked at as as if you were out of your mind. However, according to recent articles circulating the web, a Jimmy Butler trade before the February 23 NBA trade deadline may not be so crazy, after all.

Jimmy Butler has been the one bright spot in an otherwise abysmal season for the Chicago Bulls. At the start of the season, hopes were high, with the acquisition of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, however, with a few months gone in the 2016-2017 NBA regular season, the Chicago Bulls don’t have very much to show for it. Currently, they occupy the 8th and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings, so while there is a chance that they could make the playoffs, the likelihood that they will progress beyond the first round is slim at best.

At the time of this writing, Chicago sits under .500, with a record of 21-22. This underwhelming performance as a team is in no way the fault of Jimmy Butler, however. The 27-year-old is having another career year, individually, averaging 24.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game, according to Sporting News.

Jimmy Butler receives his Olympic Championship Ring

If the Chicago Bulls do enter into a Jimmy Butler trade, and do decide to part ways with their star, they would certainly be able to get a good return on that investment. While Jimmy Butler is certainly a one-of-a-kind, franchise player, and it’s unlikely that the Bulls would be able to get anything back that would equal Butler’s talent, they could very easily get their hands on young players and potential draft picks, should they ultimately decide to go back to the drawing board with a rebuild.

One thing is certain, however. If a Jimmy Butler trade does go through, Dwyane Wade’s future with the franchise would also be up in the air. In so many words, Dwyane Wade told ESPN that the main reason he is in Chicago in the first place is because of Jimmy Butler, and that he isn’t looking to rebuild with a franchise “on a team with all 21-year-olds.” This is perfectly understandable for the aging Dwyane Wade in the twilight of his Hall-of-Fame career. He had his best years in Miami, and at this stage of his career, if a Jimmy Butler trade were to happen, Dwyane Wade would probably try to play out the remainder of his career with a contending team for the veteran’s minimum.

Ultimately, the Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo grouping is a failed experiment, and, as that is the case, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Chicago cut their losses as best they can and attempt to move forward. It seems evident that the Los Angeles Lakers are unwilling to part with their young core, however, the Boston Celtics and their plethora of assets/young talent could very well be an attractive destination to send Jimmy Butler in a potential trade.

Either way, though, we won’t know anything for sure until the NBA trade deadline gets closer, and, with a little more than a month away before the February 23 trade deadline, a lot can happen between now and then.

[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]