If Jimmy Butler is leaving the Chicago Bulls, it seems pretty clear he’d prefer to stay in the Great Lakes region. With reports swirling that Butler is very much on the market and the Cleveland Cavaliers have emerged as a major player in said market, it seems clear that Butler himself would prefer to wind up playing with LeBron James if he were to get traded.
According to a report from Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Butler is definitely interested in a trade to Cleveland if there’s actually a general manager in place to make said trade. In fact, he’d encourage it from the Bulls after speaking to both James and Kyrie Irving.
According to multiple sources in Cleveland, not only have Cavaliers players – including LeBron James and Kyrie Irving – been reaching out to Butler directly and through back channels over the last five days to gauge his interest, but those players liked what they heard back from the Bulls’ three-time All-Star.
One of the sources indicated that Butler would even push his front office to get the deal done, which is a huge change of direction for Butler, who has told both general manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson numerous times over the last year that he didn’t want to be traded.
Butler is apparently on vacation right now, and a trade like that would require a third team to make it happen. But it sounds like that’s the most logical move for Butler, should the Bulls decide he needs to go. They could get Kevin Love back in such a deal, but it seems strange that an Eastern Conference rival seems willing to make the Cavaliers into a “super team” they’ll likely face in the postseason, should Chicago get back there next year.