The NBA offseason trades and free agency deals are setting up very exciting matchups for the 2016-17 games. While the Cleveland Cavaliers find ways to bolster the group led by LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, their Eastern Conference opponents are also looking into ways to bounce back next season. One major move that shocked the NBA fans is the exit of Dwyane Wade from the Miami Heat to sign with the Chicago Bulls. However, it looks like Jimmy Butler will not be with the Chicago Bulls next season in their quest to dethrone LeBron James and company in the Eastern Conference. Instead, the NBA All-Star point guard might just be with James Harden and Jason Terry in the Houston Rockets.
The Jimmy Butler trade rumors have been plaguing the Chicago Bulls star since the team failed to make it to the NBA playoffs 2016. Given his status as leader of the Taj Gibson squad, Butler had been widely scrutinized for his role in their disappointing season. Moreover, the exit of Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks to play with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis now brings into question the status of Butler from the squad. The entry of both Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and Rajon Rondo of the Sacramento Kings also made fans wonder who will be the alpha in the Chicago Bulls.
Do these roster changes indicate the impending exit of Jimmy Butler? Will the Chicago Bulls let go of the NBA All-Star to start anew with a potential franchise face?
One of the teams that reportedly aims to land Jimmy Butler is the Houston Rockets. With the recent move to extend the contract of James Harden, the Jason Terry squad signifies their bid to attract other major stars in the roster. Since the Houston Rockets failed in their campaign to land Kevin Durant in free agency, rumors are rife that Jimmy Butler is the next NBA star in their list of priorities.
"It's just that feeling where everything feels comfortable," said James Harden of his contract extension with the Houston Rockets. He added, "You felt loved and people want you to be here, and that feeling right there outweighs anything."
Harden notably stressed the feeling of being appreciated for his work in the Houston Rockets - a sentiment aimed for by players like Jimmy Butler. Despite his efforts to keep on playing amid injuries and health issues last NBA season, the Chicago Bulls still blamed Butler for their abysmal performance. Will he be able to finally find solace in Houston instead?
At the moment, the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets have yet to officially comment on the issue. While trade talks are ongoing for other players of their roster, the Nikola Mirotic team has not provided any concrete plans for Jimmy Butler. However, it looks like new recruit Rajon Rondo recognizes that the Chicago Bulls will be under the young leader despite his entry in the team.
"Well, obviously, I think it's Jimmy's team," shared Rajon Rondo following his contract with the Chicago Bulls. He added, "Wade, I don't know how they're going to handle that. But Jimmy's the youngest; he's the engine here. It'll be Jimmy, Wade and then a pecking order."