Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls is one of those names that continues to pop up on the NBA trade rumors market.
For good reason, too, after the Bulls disappointed last season and might have to blow things up with Pau Gasol heading to free agency this summer. It sounds like a team such as the Minnesota Timberwolves would like to help the Bulls with the rebuilding process, provided the Bulls surrender Butler in a deal, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Chad Ford:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Wolves, in these early days of the Tom Thibodeau era, have made it known to the Bulls that they are strongly interested in dealing for Butler should Chicago elect to make him available.
The two expanded on what the Bulls might look for in return for Butler after saying the team has listened to offers for the star guard:
Sources say that the Bulls naturally would demand a significant amount in return to part with Butler, which likely translates to at least one front-line player in addition to a top lottery pick this month.
Is the fifth pick in the draft a fair deal for Butler? Maybe, but more interesting is how far the Timberwolves are willing to go. Remember, the team already has one of the most intriguing young cores in the league thanks to names such as Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Josh Eberley put it best:
I think #5 and Zach LaVine for Jimmy Butler is as far as I’d go if I’m Thibs, otherwise I stay put with my blossoming core.
— Josh Eberley (@JoshEberley) June 14, 2016
Butler would provide an obvious boost next to Wiggins and take pressure off a still-developing core. But the fifth pick in this particular draft isn’t enough for a player like Butler and given Minnesota’s incredible drafting and moves over the years, there isn’t a reason to give up too much on this deal.
Alas, Butler’s name won’t fade from the trade market. Now the Timberwolves and the No. 5 pick have joined the fray, too.