In many front office personnel people’s eyes, Jimmy Butler was the biggest rumored prize or piece available on the trade market leading into the 2017 NBA trade deadline.
As a former No. 30 pick of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Bulls, Butler’s legendary work ethic and incredible ability to never stop improving has helped transform him from a nice secondary piece for a team to a bonafide superstar.
Butler is averaging 23.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists as the clear go-to player for a veteran loaded Bulls back court this season.
The Bulls stood pat at the deadline, refuting numerous offers around the league, instead opting to move forward with Butler for the future, or so we thought…
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, some NBA execs think he may be on the way out this off-season:
— RealGM (@RealGM) March 30, 2017
Butler is signed through the next two seasons at $36.2 million, so just over $18 million per season, so the Bulls still have time and leverage if they choose to deal him for younger assets and rebuild this off-season.
Personally, I think that would be foolish for Chicago as Butler is exactly the kind of player you want to build around, they just need to do it more effectively and not by overpaying declining veterans who don’t compliment his skill set, but if this is true teams like the Celitcs, Suns and 76ers should absolutely pounce leading up to the NBA Draft.
Once the lottery balls have settled in mid-May, expect the Butler talk to heat up.