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NBA Rumors: Chicago Bulls Confirm Jimmy Butler Trade To San Antonio Spurs; Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Target Pau Gasol Next

( [email protected] ) Jun 24, 2016 08:52 AM EDT
The Chicago Bulls pulled off a surprising NBA trade move when they booted Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. With the favorite son of Chicago now getting himself familiar with the Carmelo Anthony squad and trying to find his place in the Kristaps Porzingis roster, it looks like another widely loved basketball star will be out of the Pau Gasol team soon. Sources confirm that a Jimmy Butler trade is in the works.
The Chicago Bulls find a new leader in Jimmy Butler. Shinya Suzuki/Flickr/CC

The Chicago Bulls pulled off a surprising NBA trade move when they booted Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. With the favorite son of Chicago now getting himself familiar with the Carmelo Anthony squad and trying to find his place in the Kristaps Porzingis roster, it looks like another widely loved basketball star will be out of the Pau Gasol team soon. Sources confirm that a Jimmy Butler trade is in the works.

Surprisingly, the San Antonio Spurs now comes forward as a contender team to land Jimmy Butler. With the exception of Kevin Durant, the Tim Duncan team had been mum on who among the NBA stars they intend to sign with them to gear up for the next season. However, it looks like their early playoffs loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder courtesy of Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook rattled Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Danny Green. Should the San Antonio Spurs actually push through with the Jimmy Butler trade, the Gregg Popovich team would be a potential super team in the Western Conference - another team that has yet to settle their beef against the Golden State Warriors of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

"That was just the beginning," an exec commented on the trade between the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks. The source added, "Everybody is talking about doing something. It's the calm before the storm."

The source further noted, "You'd think the Chicago Bulls are done wheelin' and dealin' after trading Rose. But maybe not. With Rose already gone and Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah ready to relocate during free agency next month, the Bulls could be in a full-fledged rebuilding mode. And that's why some NBA officials contend Bulls star Jimmy Butler could be on his way out of the Windy City as well."

The possibility of sending Pau Gasol to the San Antonio Spurs is no longer a surprise to the fans of the Spanish NBA star. However, the exit of Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls roster to the Kawhi Leonard squad will rock the NBA community more than the news of Derrick Rose getting shipped to the New York Knicks.

However, it should be noted that the speculations remain in the early stages. The Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs have yet to comment on the trade. Moreover, the Jimmy Butler trade will definitely not come cheap for the Tim Duncan team. In fact, sources claim that the Chicago Bulls already turned down two NBA teams that offered to trade for Butler.

Despite the lucrative offers from the Boston Celtics and the Minnesota Timberwolves, the two teams first reported to be strongly interested to sign Butler, the Chicago Bulls still felt that the deals failed to reach their expectations. Hence, the Joakim Noah squad opted to keep Jimmy Butler and possibly dangle him for better offers in the NBA.

"When the packages offered for the two-time All-Star guard didn't suit the Bulls, they fell back Thursday into a comfort zone, drafting a mature, four-year college player from a prominent program who projects to contribute immediately and is considered a strong leader," revealed KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

What do you think? Should the Chicago Bulls let go of Jimmy Butler? Or should the NBA team keep him as the leader of the Taj Gibson squad? If they do seriously consider the San Antonio Spurs as a trading partner, who could be the best candidate in exchange for the precious Jimmy Butler?