It has long been rumored that the Chicago Bulls are negotiating with other teams for a potential trade involving Jimmy Butler. However, according to recent reports, it seems the Bulls have changed their minds about releasing the shooting guard.
These rumors began around the same time when the Chicago franchise drafted Denzel Valentine from Michigan State. Back then, it was rumored that the Bulls were discussing possible trade scenarios for Butler with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics.
Butler once again became the center of trade talks when word about the Bulls getting Rajon Rondo emerged. Then, when Dwayne Wade decided to join the team, Butler, again, became the center of rumors.
However, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the Bulls have taken Butler off the market. This means the team will no longer entertain trade negotiations for now. Apparently, retaining Butler is connected to the status of Wade on the team.
In other words, the Bulls might have taken a step back on trade talks to see how Wade will perform next season. However, if he does well, then they might re-open the trade deals for Butler, whi still has four years in his five-year contract that's worth $95 million.
But then again, reports of Butler being taken off the trade market contradict what Bulls general manager Gar Foreman previously said. After all, if Butler is no longer in the market, then that means the team was previously actively shopping him
However, as noted by Foreman last month, the team has never entered negotiations regarding a trade for Butler.
"We haven't made a call in regards to Jimmy Butler," he said according to CSN Chicago. "We've talked about, we value Jimmy Butler, we're very happy to have Jimmy Butler. We've got a phenomenal basketball player who has an All-Star and All-NBA defender, is still young, obviously we've got him under contract long-term, those are all positive."
"We like Jimmy Butler, we did not shop Jimmy Butler," he added. "Did we receive calls? Of course we did, and that's our job to listen to calls. We get calls on a lot of our players and that's stuff that happens all throughout the league."