Will the Bulls explore the option of trading Jimmy Butler this offseason?
It’s hard to say exactly where the root of Jimmy Butler trade rumors is. Have they sprung up from typical media speculation, or is it actually connected to potential plans from the Bulls front office?
Either way, as obvious as it sounds, it bears repeating: trading Jimmy Butler would be an unconscionable mistake for the Bulls to make.
It’s shocking that this has even become a discussion, considering the positive impact that Butler has had on the team since arriving in 2011, specifically in the last two years. It would hard to argue that Butler has not been the best player on the roster for the better part of two seasons, all of which makes this speculation even more confusing.
It’s understandable that fans will clamor for change as a wholly disappointing 2015-16 season winds down. Some fans want coach Fred Hoiberg to be removed, some (possibly a majority, in fact) want John Paxson and Gar Forman fired, some want a drastic roster overhaul.
There will likely be a good and necessary step to take to make several roster moves in the coming offseason, but that shouldn’t include dumping the best player on the team, especially considering the sheer impact he has night in and night out.
Butler is one of the best two-way players in the league, excelling on both ends of the floor. His skillset may not always fit in with the exact offense the Bulls are currently trying to run, but he makes plays and improves the team regardless; see his 28-17-12 triple-double versus Detroit on April 2 for reference.
He also adds a consistency to the team that they are dying to possess. In spite of missing several games this season due to injury, generally speaking Butler is the one player you can count on to perform at a high level every night. You don’t get that sort of consistency from Pau Gasol. You don’t get it from Derrick Rose (considering his playing status is frequently up in the air). The only player who makes the same consistent impact for the team on a regular basis, you could argue, is Taj Gibson. Outside of him, Jimmy is the rock of the Bulls roster.
It’s also important to note that no trade is going to give you immediate value like Butler will. I understand wanting to go into some level of rebuild, but there is no guarantee that any player you receive in a trade will ever contribute like Butler currently does.
There is a lot of interest surrounding the numerous first-round draft picks owned by the Boston Celtics this year, with some fans wondering how many the C’s would be willing to part with if they wanted to try and trade for Butler. The problem with this is the fact that Butler is a known commodity who will produce at an all-star caliber level. Draft picks? As high in the draft as they may be, there is no guarantee that any potential draftees would ever contribute the same value to a team that Butler does.
Other trades have been conjured up by media members and fans, but the fact of the matter is that no trade is going to get the Bulls fair value in return.
It may seem obvious to some that it’s not a good idea to trade Butler, but the fact that the discussion continues means it’s something worth talking about. The team has enough question marks in their backcourt going forward, let alone the rest of the team; they shouldn’t make another one out of replacing a young, all-star stud.