According to a recent report by CSNNE.com's A. Sherrod Blakely (via CelticsBlog), the Bulls aren't yet closing off discussions for a trade involving Jimmy Butler. Since December's call out of Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg by Butler, reports of a rift between the two and trade rumors have lingered. After the season's final game back in April, Bulls management duo of Gar Forman and John Paxson didn't eliminate the possibility of a trade involving Butler, saying the following, which raised eyebrows:
"I would say, I think John made it pretty clear we've got to take a look at everything," Forman said. We've got to explore all options and I don't think there's anything that's off the table when have a disappointing year like this. With that said, obviously Jimmy has had a fantastic year. From where he was to where he's gotten to, he's become a very, very valuable player for us."
Changes are desperately needed for the Bulls after the past two seasons, that's for certain. As for a shakeup that would involve Butler?
According to Blakely's report, it's still unlikely Butler will be dealt, as it would cost quite a bit to pry him away from the Windy City:
"A league source tells CSNNE.com that the Bulls, while still open to listening to offers for Butler, are telling teams that are inquiring about his availability that their plan for now is to keep him in the fold.
And while there was some thought that a top-3 pick coupled with a few decent players might be enough to entice the Bulls to pull the trigger on a deal to trade Butler, CSNNE.com has been told such an offer would have to include at least one "legitimate, NBA starter" for the Bulls to even possibly consider trading him.
"And that might be a stretch," the source indicated."
Blakely maintained throughout his report that while the Bulls are open to listening to offers, their plan as of now is to stay put with Butler. As for the fine folks over at CelticsBlog, their idea of an offer was the coming top three pick in the draft, plus either Avery Bradley or Jae Crowder. Such a deal could also involve the Celtics including more draft picks as a sweetener.
It seems from afar, that the Bulls have every intention on keeping Butler and hoping that the relationship between him and Hoiberg strengthen for things to work. However, at the same time, if the right offer were to be thrown on the table, GarPax would entertain it. An offer that I believe would be similar to what CelticsBlog discussed. A deal would have to include the Celtics upcoming pick, if it were to land in either the one or two position (not #3), in addition to one of Bradley or Crowder, possibly even both. Where I differ is that I would like to see another young asset added to the offer if this is route the Bulls want to take. Guys that come to mind here are Marcus Smart, RJ Hunter or Terry Rozier.
No one knows yet what direction Bulls management are wanting to take heading forward, and until we can grasp a better idea of that, rumors as such will continue.