Examining potential partners for a Jimmy Butler trade

Mar 4, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) reacts during the first quarter against the LA Clippers at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) reacts during the first quarter against the LA Clippers at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite the reports that Jimmy Butler may be staying put in Chicago after all, let’s take a glance at some rumored teams linked to Butler and see if we can find a suitable partner.

With the 2017 NBA Draft fast approaching, trade rumors are buzzing! One name that keeps coming up is Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler.

Many teams have been linked to the all NBA swing-man in trade rumors, but which teams actually have the goods to pull off a Jimmy Butler trade?

Let’s dive in and see which teams have enough and can offer the Bulls a deal if one were to take place centered around acquiring Butler.

 Who has the goods to make a deal for Jimmy Butler?

The Boston Celtics are one of the first teams that come to mind, and for good reason.

It’s no secret that the Celtics want to add another star. The Celtics have been reported to have made calls about Butler around the 2016-17 trade deadline. They definitely have the assets to get a deal done even after trading down to No. 3 overall in this year’s draft. Offering a package based around the 2018 pick from the Brooklyn Nets and one of their young players, such as Terry Rozier or Jaylen Brown, might just be enough to get the Bulls to think seriously about jump-starting a rebuild.

What about an old friend in Minnesota?

Tom Thibodeau and the Minnesota Timberwolves have been linked to Butler dating back to last year’s draft because of their interest in Kris Dunn. Butler would make a good fit for the Wolves. Butler brings much-needed defense to the wings and helps them become an immediate playoff threat.

More from Bulls History

Not to mention, Butler is a Thibodeau favorite, dating back to Thibodeau’s coaching days in Chicago. While the Wolves don’t have the treasure trove of assets the Celtics do, they do have Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, who are two young guys with bright NBA futures (if the latter can recover from a torn ACL suffered last season).

One of the Wolves young studs and this year’s pick at No. 7 in the draft gives the Bulls an already proven NBA talent and a top ten pick in this years loaded draft class.

They may be a long shot, but the Suns could be a sneaky trade partner for Butler

The Phoenix Suns are a bit of an underdog to pull of a Jimmy Butler trade.  They don’t have the future picks Boston does. While Suns rising star Devin Booker has a promising future, it seems unlikely Booker would be included in a deal.

That being said, the Suns do hold the fourth pick in this year’s draft, as well as Miami’s 2018 (top-7 protected, unprotected in 2019 if it doesn’t convey) and 2021 (unprotected) first-round draft picks. Although that’s not as enticing of an offer as the Celtics or Wolves could put together, a package including the fourth pick in this year’s draft, former lottery picks Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender, and a future first-rounder would leave the Bulls with a young roster full of intriguing players.

Jimmy Butler is a coveted player and rightfully so. He’s a two-way stud with one of the best work ethics in the league and those are hard to find. It’s even harder to pry away from a team desperate to stay relevant.

That being said, if Chicago Bulls executives Gar Forman and John Paxson were so inclined to start a full-scale rebuild, trading Jimmy Butler could help speed the process up.

Next: Bulls rumors: Butler try to shut down trade talk, Wade opts in and MILOS

Either way, the phones of Forman and Paxson will be blowing up with calls about Butler this off-season. Whether they’re willing to pull the trigger on a deal remains to be seen.