Jimmy Butler was at the center of many rumors ahead of the NBA trade deadline, and his name likely will come up in several more trade rumors as the 2017 NBA Draft — scheduled for June 22 — approaches.
The Chicago Bulls front office and Butler met Monday for a “positive” exit meeting, a source told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
“Management has been consistent with its message to Butler, the subject of trade rumors both last June and this February,” Johnson wrote. “Executive vice president John Paxson has said the franchise greatly values their three-time All-Star, isn’t looking to trade him but has to listen to any interest out of due diligence.”
Butler has two more years left on his contract, which carries a salary of $17,546,918 for next season and $18,691,624 for the 2018-19 campaign. He has a player option for the 2019-20 season.
This is a team-friendly contract for a superstar player when you consider how much max contracts have increased in recent seasons.
The Bulls were competitive with Butler as their best player this past season. They claimed the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference and nearly upset the top-seeded Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
There’s no pressing need for the Bulls to trade Butler, but if teams come calling with a package of high-quality assets around the draft, Chicago should at least consider moving its franchise centerpiece.
Thumbnail photo via Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports Images