NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers, Celtics Target Bulls' Jimmy Butler
The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have emerged as potential trade destinations for Chicago Bulls main man Jimmy Butler, according to latest trade rumors.
Butler, who is in the second year of the five-year, $95 million deal he signed with the Bulls in the summer of 2015, has suddenly become the darling of the rumor mill in the past weeks after reports went out that Chicago has been trying to trade him just before the season began.
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Bleacher Report's Rich Bucher revealed earlier this month that the Bulls announced "through back channels" weeks ago that Butler is "available for the right price" as the team has been "uncertain about building around" him even after securing him to a long-term contract.
Bucher also said that Bulls general manager Gar Forman has "held off aggressively pursuing a move sooner" when the team made a great start to the season. But now that the team is back in the middle of the Eastern Conference standings, Chicago is said to be more comfortable about trading Butler to interested teams.
This revelation has expectedly sparked a lot of rumors linking Butler to several NBA teams including the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and, right now, the Lakers and Celtics.
Metro reported that if the Celtics will not be able to lure Butler with their 2017 first-round draft pick from the Brooklyn Nets, then the Lakers will definitely try to target him to make "an accelerated run at the playoffs".
It is unsure what kind of trade package would the Hollywood squad offer to Chicago since there are also reports that Los Angeles is not yet ready to "give up any of their young core in Brandon Ingram, D'Angelo Russell, or Julius Randle" as well as other young players Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., although the last two are "tradeable" at this moment per reports.
The Celtics and Bulls said to have already discussed a Butler trade before the 2016 NBA Draft last June but the deal did not push through. It remains to be seen whether the two teams will revisit the talks as the February trade deadline draws near.