I hope those of you with Chicago Bulls #21 jerseys are prepared to lay out some new cash in the next few weeks.
On Monday afternoon, two rumors about current Bulls star and former Marquette star Jimmy Butler surfaced in rapid fire fashion. First, from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Minnesota Timberwolves are interested in paying the price that Chicago is looking to get in exchange for Butler.
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
This would be the second straight year that news filtered out about Minnesota being interested in acquiring Butler right around NBA Draft time. This all makes sense, of course, because Butler ascended to NBA star levels under the tutelage of Tom Thibodeau, who is now the head coach and director of basketball operations for the T-Wolves.
The other tidbit about Butler comes to us from ESPN’s Marc Stein, and this one has major NBA-wide ramifications if it comes together: The Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to find at least one other trading partner to help them make a deal to get Jimmy Butler.
The Cavaliers, per league sources, have been working today on assembling multi-team trade scenarios to try to acquire Chicago's Jimmy Butler— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 19, 2017
That would be bananas. Obviously the Cavaliers are looking for a way to fight back against the Golden State Warriors after the Dubs dispatched them in five games in the NBA Finals. Jimmy Butler would definitely do the trick, but does that mean that Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love would have to be on their way out in order to make the salaries work for Cleveland?
In any case, this is all tacked on to the story that Stephen A. Smith told on ESPN’s First Take this morning. Apparently, the Boston Celtics are interested in using their newly acquired #3 pick in Thursday’s draft to help pry Butler loose from the Bulls. It would be a savvy move by Celtics GM Danny Ainge, if for no other reason than to just keep Butler away from the Cavaliers.
I don’t know if there’s a good reason for the Bulls to deal Butler, but if they can get a significant package back for him, I think they have to pull the trigger. We’re still a long way away from the draft, so this could keep spinning quickly or just die quietly and go nowhere. Keep your ears open.....