The Chicago Bulls haven't traded Jimmy Butler yet, but they appeared to be close during the 2016 NBA Draft. The team was involved in rumors with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics throughout draft night, but now it appears he'll be staying put for the time being.
Chicago was reportedly ready to deal the two-time All-Star early in the draft. The Vertical's Shams Charania says Minnesota rejected an offer of Butler for guard Zach LaVine and the No. 5 overall pick, which was used on Providence point guard Kris Dunn, on Thursday. The Bulls reportedly were in hot pursuit of Dunn and ready to make the move for a Dunn-LaVine package, but the Wolves wouldn't pull the trigger.
The discussions with Boston also appeared to end quietly. The Celtics were talking to the Bulls about Butler earlier on Thursday, per The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, likely for a package built around the No. 3 overall pick. Boston ended up using the pick on California guard Jaylen Brown, however, and there's been no word of the two sides resuscitating negotiations.
Butler, 26, is coming off a huge season for the Bulls and is one of the better shooting guards in the league. He's only one year through a five-year deal that makes him a very valuable piece, so it would be a little surprising if the report of Minnesota rejecting the deal is true. LaVine and Dunn are pretty stellar prospects in their own right, though, so it's not unreasonable to believe the Wolves preferred those two.
Reports pegged the Bulls and Timberwolves as still talking about a possible deal focused on Butler and Dunn even after Minnesota made its selection, but no deal has come to fruition. It's still possible the Bulls move Butler at some point this offseason, especially after the way this has all played out publicly in recent weeks, but it didn't happen during the draft.
Chicago already dealt Derrick Rose this week so it's clearly not shying away from big changes. Butler remains the team's best player and face of the franchise, plus he's still under contract for four more years, but it's clear the Bulls' commitment to Butler isn't rock solid right now.
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