Plenty of Los Angeles basketball fans would love to see Bulls superstar Jimmy Butler in a Lakers jersey. The ongoing NBA trade rumors have recently been focused on his potential to move to the Boston Celtics and join Isaiah Thomas on a potential Eastern Conference contender. However, it also appears that the Celtics’ longtime rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, were trying to swing a deal. With that said, could the teams make a Butler trade work out before the deadline?
Several teams in the league may have enough assets to get involved in talking to the Bulls about dealing Jimmy Butler. According to Sportsrageous, a few days ago there was a rumor that Los Angeles was among the teams inquiring about Butler’s availability. However, this particular discussion of a trade has yet to be verified by any top sources such as the Vertical or ESPN.
In fact, there was a proposed trade tweeted about by NBC Chicago’s Mike Adamle involving one of the team’s young rising stars, who weeks ago was said to be part of the core of players the team wanted to keep on the roster.
REPORT: Butler is involved in the LAL - Bulls trade talk. Lou Williams, Jordan Clarkson, & Julius Randle have been brought up - MCW as well.— Mike Adamle (@TheMikeAdamle) February 20, 2017
Julius Randle is the player mentioned who it seemed the team wanted to keep around as part of their young core. However, as seen with the Kings telling DeMarcus Cousins he was staying put in Sacramento, management isn’t always in line with what they say and what they do. Randle joins other potential young stars in D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram in a trio that could take this team to future postseason success. All three of these players were said to be protected by the Lakers heading forward.
Another guy mentioned in the rumors from a few days ago is now off the table. As of yesterday, Lou Williams is no longer a part of the Los Angeles Lakers, which could change any talks for now. The team’s leading scorer was traded to the third-place Houston Rockets in the Western Conference. According to CSN Philly, all Los Angeles received in the Williams trade was veteran Corey Brewer and a first-round pick from Houston. As of right now, a mock draft at Draft Express shows that pick being around the No. 27 spot in what’s considered a deep draft.
Could Los Angeles still convince the Bulls to deal Butler? The Lakers still have something the Bulls might want, as they could own one of the top three picks in the NBA Draft. Draft Express shows L.A. taking Kansas small forward Josh Jackson at No. 3. That could give Chicago a brand new young star at the same position as Butler to build their future team around.
Back in late January, it was mentioned on Silver Screen and Roll that the Lakers should have dealt Williams and Nick Young earlier in the season when the team was off to a hot start. Unfortunately, the Lakers decided to keep them around in hopes that this young team would be part of the playoff picture this fast. That dropped their value a bit, although the team could probably still move Young and some other bench players.
Lakers are refusing to part with Russell & Ingram. Making it very difficult to find a solid trade with CHI or ANY team. Still in discussion.— Mike Adamle (@TheMikeAdamle) February 20, 2017
The Lakers just brought in Magic Johnson to take over the reins for the franchise. Magic’s first move was lackluster, but he has plenty of young talent available on that roster. Keeping their pick in the draft still seems to be the smartest move as this team has been slowly building its lineup. Even Magic stated when talking to a small group of reporters at the Lakers’ training facility yesterday, this won’t be an overnight thing in Los Angeles.
“I wouldn’t be sitting here if it was a good situation. I understand what I’m up against, but I’m here, and I’m here for the long haul, and eventually we will turn it around.”
Struggling teams see a lot of talk of building a “Big Three” or “Big Four.” However, it may be best to look to the formula of other successful squads in the league such as Oklahoma City or Golden State. Young stars were drafted and made the teams contenders. Just like the Minnesota Timberwolves’ roster, this Lakers team is being built for future seasons, as they’re definitely not ready to contend right now. Magic may swing a surprising deal before the big NBA trade deadline or make his bigger move when the 2017 NBA Draft arrives this summer.
Should the Chicago Bulls have made a deal with Los Angeles a few days ago? Would this have been a good deal for the Bulls, or are they better off waiting for the NBA Draft to make a trade?
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