The Chicago Bulls will look to trade all-star wing Jimmy Butler in the offseason, per latest NBA Rumors. If sources are to be believed, Boston Celtics are gearing up with their chest of draft picks.
With Butler and Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg at loggerheads, several teams tried to acquire Butler ahead of the February 18 deadline and will revisit those trade possibilities during the summer, according to Chris Mannix of the Vertical.
“I’ve been hearing rumbling that there is legitimate interest in Chicago in potentially dealing Jimmy Butler this offseason,” Mannix revealed.
Mannix wrote, “The palace intrigue that surrounded Butler and Hoiberg prompted several teams to inquire about Butler’s availability at the trade deadline. Though they were rebuffed, several rival executives told The Vertical they intend to try again. Boston was among the teams trying to pry away Butler in February, and several executives point to Orlando, with its treasure trove of young players and defensive-minded head coach, as a team to watch closely in the pursuit of Butler.”
Aftermath of Thibs exit…
After Tom Thibodeau was fired, defensive stalwarts Joakim Noah and Butler have failed to thrive under Hoiberg’s offense-heavy system. Essentially, Chicago’s front office could be forced to choose between Hoiberg or Butler since it’s obvious that they are unable to work cohesively. Also, Noah and Pau Gasol are expected to leave in free agency as the Bulls look to rebuild their roster.
More NBA Rumors: Hassan Whiteside Loving The Attention From Lakers
Mannix further revealed that Chicago’s locker room hasn’t recovered from Butler publicly criticizing coach Hoiberg.
“Chemistry issues continue to plague the Bulls’ locker room, league sources told The Vertical. Grumblings range from Hoiberg’s inability to hold players accountable – a complaint registered publicly by Butler last December and one that lingers in the locker room today, a source said – to Butler’s shoddy shot selection to the disconnect within the team offensively.”
Bulls will side with management….
The Bottom Line: Bulls are 38-37 and in danger of missing the playoffs. During the Thibodeau Era, they never failed to win less than 45 games in a season. Who shoulders the blame? Is it Jimmy Butler, acknowledged as Chicago’s best player, or the rookie coach?
If history is anything to go by, Chicago’s front office prefers to side with the coach. This is the same front office that chose to side with a GM Jerry Krause during his rift with Michael Jordan. The rift was responsible for Jordan’s retirement in 1998.
When Hoiberg was hired, it was a given that Chicago’s front office would give the young coach an extended run at the position before assessing his performance. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that Hoiberg will remain that coach next season. Does that mean Jimmy Butler is out of town?
If Butler gets put on the trade block, expect the Boston Celtics to be an active suitor. The Boston Herald recently revealed, “According to one source that had at least one player who could have been involved in the potential transaction, the Celtics were willing to give up two first-round draft picks this year a the unprotected pick from the Nets and Dallas’ choice, which is protected 1-through-7.”
Stay tuned for latest NBA Rumors.