No player is safe from trade rumors, not even Jimmy Butler, who signed a $90 million extension with the Chicago Bulls last summer. That contract seemed to cement Butler’s tenure in Chicago…until this season, when Butler’s name inexplicably circulated the rumor mill. Both Orlando and Boston are reportedly interested in acquiring Butler (because what team wouldn’t want a superstar entering his prime?), but as Butler told Nick Friedell of ESPN, he doesn’t plan on going anywhere.
“That’s why I’m here,” Butler told ESPN.com after Thursday night’s 103-100 win over the Houston Rockets. “I don’t plan on going anywhere. I can’t control what everybody else does. I know that this is the city that I love, Chicago. And I want to wear that jersey. I want to wear that name on the front, and I wear it proudly. All I got to do is continue to control what I can control. That’s try to help this team win games.”
Of course, Butler doesn’t really have any control over his future. He doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract, so the Bulls could easily ship him off if they feel like they’re getting a good return. Luckily for him, that’s unlikely to happen.
Boston may have a lot of first-round picks, but none of those picks are guaranteed to turn into a player of Butler’s caliber, nor are any of Boston’s current players at that level. Orlando, meanwhile, could offer an enticing package of picks and young talent, but again, they’d be hard-pressed to replace Butler’s elite versatility.