The Chicago Bulls held on to Jimmy Butler at this year’s NBA trade deadline, but it appears the Butler-Bulls marriage could soon be coming to a close.
A league front office source tells The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor that Butler is “as good as gone” from Chicago once this season ends.
It’s been reported that the star guard has had a tumultuous relationship with the Bulls front office for quite some time. The three-time All Star was rumored to be on the trading block leading up to the Feb. 23 deadline, specifically with the Boston Celtics.
If a team does make a trade for Butler this offseason, they will be acquiring a top-tier player on a team-friendly contract. Chicago inked Butler to a five-year, $95 million contract in the summer prior to the 2015-16 season. In other words, a team would have Butler through the 2019-20 season for a price much less than other players of equal talent.
It’s safe to say several teams would be interested in Butler’s services if Chicago were to make him available. He’s one of the best two-way players in the league, as he’s a strong scoring guard capable of shutting down an opposing team’s best player on defense.
While it appears Chicago is ready to move on from Butler, it surely still will be looking for a substantial trade return. An inquiring team would probably have to put together a package of draft picks and promising young players in order to pry Butler from the Bulls.
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