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NBA Trade Rumors: Jimmy Butler likely out of Chicago Bulls in the summer; Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves destinations

By Staff Reporter | Mar 31, 2017 09:54 PM EDT
Chicago Bulls small forward Jimmy Butler
(Photo : Getty Images) The Bulls host the Thunder at the United Center on Monday.

The NBA trade rumors continue to gain steam as the season winds up and teams maneuver for their future.

The Chicago Bulls' "experiment" did not have a favorable result and recent speculation has the team willing to try a more drastic approach. Kevin O' Connor of The Ringer had intel on the situation.

"Paul George and Jimmy Butler were involved in trade rumors at the deadline, and all indications are that those conversations will resume this offseason. One front-office source told me recently that Butler is 'as good as gone,' while George sounds like a player who wants out," O'Connor stated in his article.

When it comes to destinations, O'Connor explored the Minnesota Timberwolves and presented various scenarios hinged on the possibility of the T-Wolves winning the no.1 pick. He suggested packaging the first overall pick and Kris Dunn along with a future first for Butler. It might be too steep of a price, especially now that there are leaks about Butler being on the way out.

If Timberwolves president Tom Thibodeau drives a hard bargain, the Boston Celtics could present themselves as an alternative destination. The Celtics are more likely to end up with the no.1 pick than the Timberwolves are and have more stability at the point guard position with Isaiah Thomas. With the top prospects in the draft (Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball) being point guards, they may have more interest to trade the pick.

According to Robby Kalland of Uproxx, the Celtics will use their performance at this year's playoffs to plan their next move. It depends on "how they perform in the playoffs. If they come close to winning the East or even succeed in doing that and lose the Finals, Danny Ainge might finally see this as the championship window worth moving future assets for another bonafide star to make a push next season."

With these options, the draft lottery is also an important date for the Chicago Bulls as it could determine their possible trade partner for Butler. With Dwyane Wade rumored to opt out and Rajon Rondo even more likely to leave, the Bulls will have a much different look next season.

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