As big as the Serge Ibaka-to-the-Magic deal might be, perhaps the biggest story of the 2016 NBA Draft was the deal that didn’t get made: a Jimmy Butler trade for Kris Dunn, either at the Celtics’ third overall pick or the Timberwolves’ fifth overall pick. After the Derrick Rose trade, much of the NBA world thought that the Bulls were looking to blow it all up, but couldn’t close the deal. Now, Bulls GM Gar Forman says that’s not how it went down at all.
“We were in no talks with anybody. There was no discussion during the entire draft this evening as far as Jimmy Butler was concerned.
“We have never made a call in regards to Jimmy Butler. We’ve talked about, we value Jimmy Butler, we’re very happy to have Jimmy Butler… We like Jimmy Butler, we did not shop Jimmy Butler. Did we receive calls? Of course we did, and that’s our job to listen to calls. We get calls on a lot of our players and that’s stuff that happens all throughout the league.”
So, it’s still possible that the trade talks for Butler indeed happened, but were never initiated by the Bulls.
That’s fine, and it also fits with the counter offer the Bulls supposedly made to the Celtics:
The only question about what Celtics GM Danny Ainge would do with that deal is whether he would laugh in Forman’s ear before hanging up the phone. It seems exceedingly doubtful that Butler will be traded — far more likely is that the Rose deal was to get him out of Butler’s way to continue to unlock the superstar potential Jimmy flashed when not sharing the court with the Bulls’ other star. It’s not as fun for fans fiending for transactions, but it makes more sense for the Bulls.
(Via CSN Chicago)