Though there has already been a blockbuster deal with the top pick in this year’s NBA draft, it was merely speculation that it had anything to do with the Bulls and Jimmy Butler. And, per usual, there hasn’t been much word surrounding the Bulls because they’re so secretive....or more likely don’t actually do that much. KC Johnson had a shallow bucket of cold water Monday morning regarding anything with Boston.
Then by the afternoon there was a Woj-firecracker
Sources: Chicago’s price for Jimmy Butler remains elevated, but Minnesota has assets and interest. Sides made preliminary contact this week.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 19, 2017
and then this from Woj’s competitor Marc Stein:
The Cavaliers, per league sources, have been working today on assembling multi-team trade scenarios to try to acquire Chicago's Jimmy Butler. The Cavs obviously have to rope in at least one more team to provide the assets Chicago would surely demand but, sources say, are trying.
KC Johnson popped up again to throw in the Phoenix Suns as a team that could either facilitate this move for the Cavs or go after Butler themselves. Like Stein reasons, you have to figure Cleveland doesn’t have the right pieces to give directly to the Bulls for Butler, as though getting Kevin Love would be pretty interesting it really wouldn’t fit into a rebuild.
So between Tom Thibodeau’s Timberwolves and the Suns, what kind of assets would really be on the table? You’d have to think Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker are non-starters in a negotiation. Andrew Wiggins maybe not impossible but probably unlikely.
There’s Minnesota’s Kris Dunn, the rumored target of Chicago in the 2016 draft who had a dreadful rookie season and enters his age-23 year, but I don’t think the Bulls pro scout at all so they are likely still ‘enamored’. Also under rookie scale contract is Phoenix 2014 draftee TJ Warren and 2016 selection Marquese Chriss.
And of most immediate interest, Phoenix picks at spot #4 this Thursday with the Wolves at #7. Minnesota technically can’t give up that pick before the draft as they owe a 2018 first. Phoenix additionally owns 2 future first-rounders from the Miami Heat.
I guess I’m a hypocrite: I want to read Bulls rumors, but I also feel immediately ill thinking they’re going to make some awful trade with Butler in a grand admission of complete organizational failure in building around him.