Bulls Should Trade Jimmy Butler to the Lakers

It could be the end of an era in Chicago for Jimmy Butler coming this summer.

The day Jimmy Butler signed and received a contract for all the improvement he’d shown playing under former Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was a day that will be remembered, not forgotten. If not for a new coach and a new offensive system, this talk of trade might not even be a discussion.

That’s no longer the case for the All-Star guard.

After the idea of Butler being traded circled the web in recent days, the All-Star did his best to silence the rumors.

But, when a team is underperforming and potentially faces the reality of not making the playoffs, the buzz will not die and the speculation will continue.

The idea of sending Butler to another team in a trade is nothing new, either. Right before the trade deadline, the Bulls guard generated the interest from the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics; two young teams on the rise looking to add a key piece to their starting lineups.

When rumors fester as they do, negativity will usually ensue. It’s no myth that Butler doesn’t quite fit the offense that new Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg is famous for running. Matters weren’t helped any more or less earlier this season when Butler, trying to be the vocal leader of the squad, aired the team’s dirty laundry, saying the coach’s laid-back approach to the game is ineffective. Both Butler and Hoiberg have attempted to squash the idea that a rift exists, but that doesn’t mean the trade rumors have no merit.

So, what does that mean for the Bulls, Hoiberg and the future of Jimmy Butler?

The Bulls should look to trade the All-Star guard who loves to play isolation basketball to the Los Angeles Lakers and here’s how they can achieve that.

Scenario No. 1

Jimmy Butler and Cameron Bairstow for D’Angelo Russell, a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a sum of cash to be determined.

Scenario No. 2

Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy for the Lakers’ first and second-round draft picks in 2016 in addition to a sum of cash to be determined.

Scenario No. 3

Jimmy Butler and Tony Snell for D’Angelo Russell, first-round draft pick in 2016 and a sum of cash to be determined.

So, what needs should the Bulls seek to fill through the 2016 NBA Draft? That’s simple.

With young prospects like Duke’s Brandom Ingram and LSU’s Ben Simmons in the picture, the Bulls cannot lose for choosing.

Brandon Ingram would give the Bulls a talented forward with skills comparable to the likes of Kevin Durant. To argue in his case further, Ingram is unselfish, possesses a good vision for the game and creates for his teammates.

Ben Simmons allows the Bulls to acquire the most touted rookie to enter the draft since LeBron James. In this scenario, the Bulls can acquire a 6’10’’ forward with the vision of a point guard.

If the Bulls pull the trigger and capitalize on any one of these potential moves, they will have not only strengthened their investment in Hoiberg, but the future of the organization.

Additionally, the Lakers will have found a solution for the drama that’s circulated their locker room after Russell allegedly released a video to a gossip site, showing his teammate Nick Young admitting to having cheated on rapper Iggy Azalea. It would be a win-win situation for both teams as they look toward the future and past their current struggles.

By sealing a trade with the Lakers, the Bulls even give themselves a chance to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference, in part, because Butler would be sent to the Western Conference. Neither the Orlando Magic nor the Boston Celtics can provide that assurance.

As it stands now, the Bulls’ roster is one that is aging and relies too heavily on a system that has not shown to work time and time again. It’s time to reverse the trend and make way for some change this summer.