After Jimmy Butler trade rumors reached a fever pitch early in the week and all signs seemed to point towards the Bulls’ star being dealt, things have cooled off significantly and indications are that Butler has let teams know he’d prefer to stay in Chicago.
That hasn’t stopped teams from calling, but the likelihood of Butler moving seems far less as we’ve reached draft day than it did at the beginning of the week. The Cavaliers are reportedly out of the running, after they were unable to find a third team interested in giving up a high pick for Kevin Love, but there are still some teams that could be involved.
The Celtics are the presumptive favorites for Butler, but after they reportedly turned down a swap of Butler for the No. 3 pick, it remains to be seen what they would be interested in giving up and their focus may have shifted to trying to land Kristaps Porzingis. The other team that continues to be mentioned as a potential suitor for Butler is the Minnesota Timberwolves, who do have the young assets that the Cavaliers lack to put together an enticing package.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN, the Timberwolves may be trying to start talks with the Bulls back up and are considering flipping Chicago their No. 7 overall pick in Thursday night’s draft to sweeten the pot.
Opposing executives believe Minnesota is considering using its No. 7 pick as part of a package to try to re-engage the Chicago Bulls on a trade for Jimmy Butler, ESPN has learned.
Along with the No. 7 pick, another piece that could be involved is Ricky Rubio. Rubio has long been part of Timberwolves trade talks and he is reportedly coming up in conversations with multiple teams this offseason, although it’s unknown if he’s been part of the Bulls’ discussions.
Minnesota has enough intriguing young players and future picks to at least make the Bulls consider a deal, but at this point it seems like a Butler deal would be a surprising move rather than the near certainty it was reported to be a few days ago.