Did the Chicago Bulls really shop Jimmy Butler at the 2016 NBA Draft?
Gar Forman claims the Bulls didn’t shop Jimmy Butler, but do you believe him?
The 2016 NBA Draft has come and gone.
Guard Jimmy Butler is still a member of the Chicago Bulls, following a wild night which included plenty of rumors surrounding the 26-year-old. Butler signed a contract last off-season but with the Bulls failure during 2015-16, many speculated he would be traded.
Then the Bulls traded Derrick Rose. Things really started to heat up.
Leading up to the 2016 NBA Draft, at least five teams were rumored to be interested in Butler. But throughout the whole process only two, the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves, were the only legit contenders for his services.
The Bulls even reportedly turned down a deal for Butler at the trade deadline, and talks heated up leading into Thursday night.
Yahoo Sports beat writer and creator of The Vertical Adrian Wojnarowski was all over the Butler rumors during the draft:
Sources: Boston is engaged with the Bulls and Sixers as Celtics inch closer to going on the clock at No. 3, league sources said.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 23, 2016
After the Celtics decided to keep the pick and draft Jaylen Brown, the discussion moved to the Timberwolves at number five. The Bulls reportedly wanted Zach LaVine and the No. 5 pick (Kris Dunn) for Butler.
Minnesota said no and countered with Ricky Rubio, to which the Bulls weren’t interested in.
In the end, Butler ended up remaining with the Bulls as a deal never went through. The idea of Butler and former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau reuniting in Minnesota would have left a sour taste in Bulls fans mouths.
Wojnarowski and several other beat writers claimed the talks were ongoing throughout the night:
Minnesota and Chicago still in serious talks on a Jimmy Butler deal centered on fifth pick Kris Dunn, league sources tell @TheVertical
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 24, 2016
Getting word a deal could be done for Jimmy Butler and Minnesota
— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) June 24, 2016
ESPN sources say Minnesota continues to try to engage Chicago on talks built around Kris Dunn to try to import Jimmy Butler to the Wolves
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 24, 2016
Following the draft, Bulls executive Gar Forman claimed the team DID NOT shop Butler at all as K.C. Johnson reports:
Gar Forman: "We like Jimmy Butler. We didn't shop Jimmy Butler."
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 24, 2016
The roller coaster of draft night which saw the Bulls take Denzel Valentine might be the beginning of what should be another crazy season in Chicago.