Lakers Rumors: Should the Los Angeles Lakers pursue a trade for Jimmy Butler this offseason? If yes, who should they be willing to give up for Chicago Bulls’ disgruntled two-way star?
Chris Mannix of the Vertical has reported of “rumblings that there is legitimate interest in Chicago in potentially dealing Jimmy Butler this offseason.” With Butler and coach Fred Hoiberg at loggerheads, the Bulls management could be forced to trade their best player for the sake of team chemistry.
Mannix wrote: “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.”
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Who should Lakers give up?
Butler is arguably the third-best perimeter defender in the league after Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James. As a scorer, he has improved leaps and bounds, averaging a career-high 21 points per game this season. In a league dominated by scorers, two-way stars like Butler are hard to come by. The Lakers, the worst defensive unit in the league, needs a shot in the arm.
Here’s a hypothetical trade that could help both teams:
Lakers give up D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.
Bulls give up Jimmy Butler and Bobby Portis.
What’s in it for Bulls? They’d get a promising young trio of players who have exhibited signs of good chemistry. Since the Bulls are planning to retain Hoiberg, this would give the team a fresh start to build around three promising youngsters. Also, since all three are on rookie contracts, the Bulls would open up plenty of cap space to pursue other free agents.
What’s in it for Lakers? For the last few years, the Lakers have struggled to attract any superstars via free agency. Butler would be an instant free agent magnet. In all honesty, the young trio is not going to help them attract a marquee free agent. However, acquiring Butler could open up a world of possibilities. Suddenly, superstars could be willing to come to L.A.
What’s in it for Butler? 1) He owns an offseason home in Los Angeles, 2) He’s good friends with actor Mark Wahlberg, 3) He gets to replace Kobe Bryant as the new franchise player of the legendary Purple & Gold. Also, Butler can maximize his brand value in sunny L.A, away from the treacherous cold of Chicago.
Butler ignores rumors
After Chicago’s 103-100 win over Houston on Thursday, Butler was asked about the possibility of being traded over the summer.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t pay attention to the rumors. Somebody sent (the story) to me today, and I just clicked off of it. I mean, why am I getting in [to the speculation? I can’t control it. I can’t say don’t do this or don’t do that. That’s not my job. If I do what I’m supposed to do on the floor, then everything else takes care of itself. I’m a firm believer in that,” Butler told ESPN.com.
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Butler also reiterated his desire to stay in the Windy City, a year after signing a 5-year $90 million max contract.
“That’s why I’m here. 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.”
Regardless of how this story plays out, it could prove very difficult for Coach Hoiberg and Butler to co-exist in Chicago. Will Hoiberg be fired or will Butler be gone?
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