CHICAGO – On the Heels of Jimmy Butler channeling his inner Michael Jordan to help the bad news Bulls pull two out two unlikely victories over the Charlotte Hornets and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the trade talk surrounding the all-star began to resurface this morning.
Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report has reported that according to league sources, “Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler is available for the right price”.
According to those league sources, The Bulls have never been completely comfortable about building a team around Butler, even after signing him to his five year extension. Butler was available this summer, and Gar Foreman avoided “aggressively pursuing a trade due to the Bulls quick start”, but now that the Bulls have “leveled off”, Butler is available for a trade once again.
The idea that Butler is available for a trade is a few things, but surprising isn’t one of them quite frankly. Butler is a superstar on an otherwise very underwhelming Bulls team that is floundering, and the thought of shelling this mess of a roster obviously begins with Butler being flipped for a handful of assets.
So, is there any Fire behind the Smoke on the Jimmy Butler trade rumblings?
“A Bulls source told The Athletic that, despite a Thursday report from Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, the team is not currently shopping Butler or fielding offers for the two-time All-Star.”
I’m inclined to believe that Highkin’s source and report is more accurate than Bucher’s at this point. Outside of Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, there always seems to be a disconnect between what national writers or insiders are hearing versus that of the local beat writers or insiders.
If you remember the days leading up to Christmas when Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reported that the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees were in trade discussions involving Jose Quintana and David Robertson, that report was almost immediately refuted by local Yankees writer Joel Sherman, who said that there was no active discussions between the two clubs at that moment. Last I checked, Quintana and Robertson are still here in Chicago.
For the time being, the 27-year-old Butler is playing the best basketball of his life, and literally carrying a mostly ineffective Bulls roster to a respectable .500-ish mark on the season. Butler became the first Bulls player to score 50 or more points at the United Center since Michal Jordan on Monday night. On Wednesday night, the Bulls nearly coughed up a sizeable lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers, before Butler channeled is inner Michael Jordan and took control of the game, and secured a Bulls victory with a stellar fourth quarter performance.
The Butler rumblings, whether they hold much weight or not, only further highlight the volatile state of affairs within the Bulls front-office at this point. Gar-Pax are like a car driving down Western Ave in Chicago hitting every single pot hole on the riddled artery that stretches the length of the City of Chicago.
They have made every single bad decision that they possibly could have over the last few years, and now have a lone superstar carrying a team of misfits and a lame duck head coach who is in over his head in Chicago, and the Bulls decision-makers want to send away the face of the franchise now to atone for their basketball sins.