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If the season goes south, will the Bulls blow it up?

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a Butler trade could still happen

NBA: Chicago Bulls-Dwyane Wade Press Conference David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

This ESPN Insider article is complete speculation and has extremely little depth, but in it Tom Haberstroh thinks the Bulls could combust and that puts Jimmy Butler back on the market.

I think it's a real possibility, especially if the Rio Olympics made Butler hungry for more immediate success. I could see any one of Rondo, Wade or Butler becoming available this season, but moving Butler would net the most return at the deadline, and it would also give the Bulls a fresh start in the Fred Hoiberg era.

The Bulls reportedly were fielding trade offers for Butler on draft night, ultimately deciding not to pull the trigger on rumored deals with the Celtics or the Timberwolves. They very clearly then did not want to rebuild, instead going in on this half-cocked plan to make the East playoffs behind veterans.

So if the season turns poor and it’s looking like the Bulls are heading for the lottery, it makes sense* to truly show off that vaunted flexibility and turn into that skid by dealing said ‘stars’. I’m not sure the other two Alphas beyond Butler will get much in a trade, given that this scenario means they’re probably not having a good season themselves, coupled with their salary options for next season (Rondo was hilariously given a $3m guarantee).

But Haberstroh is hopefully wrong about a key detail: such a result shouldn’t mean a ‘fresh start’ for Hoiberg, it’d be the end. And his benefactor Gar Forman should be out the door as well, as I don’t want the guy responsible for this hypothetically disastrous season to be in charge of the rebuild. (I’m resigned to idea that Paxson even more than Forman is Reinsdorf World Order 4 Lyfe).

*editing to add the reminder that the Bulls last season both missed the playoffs and also Gar Forman couldn’t pull off a midseason deal with Pau Gasol