Heading into this NBA offseason, there was a belief that a pair of two-way wings, Paul George and Jimmy Butler, would potentially be available in a trade. Over the last couple of days, rumors have exploded about both, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have been at the heart of both.
Originally the Cavs had been linked to George after the Pacers began looking to trade him. Recently, however, it has been Butler the Cavaliers have been linked to as they reportedly have been trying to figure out some three-team scenarios that could land them the Bulls star.
Cavs players have reportedly been reaching out to Butler, and according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Butler will push the Bulls’ front office for the deal:
According to multiple sources in Cleveland, not only have Cavaliers players – including LeBron James and Kyrie Irving – been reaching out to Butler directly and through back channels over the last five days to gauge his interest, but those players liked what they heard back from the Bulls’ three-time All-Star.
One of the sources indicated that Butler would even push his front office to get the deal done, which is a huge change of direction for Butler, who has told both general manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson numerous times over the last year that he didn’t want to be traded.
After a convincing loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, the Cavs understand they need to make some major moves to compete for the championship. Bringing in Butler would undoubtedly bring them closer to the Warriors.
The Cavs don’t have the necessary assets for a deal which is why a third team would be necessary. The Phoenix Suns have been mentioned as a possibility in that regard, but plenty of teams would likely be open to gaining some assets by participating in the deal.
Butler has had some frustrations with the Bulls front office but seemed to be on the same page, but now things are again up in the air. Last year, Butler averaged 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.5 assists.