Back in Chicago after spending much of the last month w…

Back in Chicago after spending much of the last month working out in Los Angeles, Jimmy Butler had what one source described as a “positive” season-ending exit meeting with management Monday.

More on Jimmy Butler Trade?

Management has been consistent with its message to Butler, the subject of trade rumors both last June and this February. Executive vice president John Paxson has said the franchise greatly values their three-time All-Star, isn't looking to trade him but has to listen to any interest out of due diligence.
Nick Friedell: Not much has really changed regarding Butler/Bulls though. Bulls still waiting to see what teams may or may not offer closer to Draft.
KC Johnson: Jimmy Butler indeed had his exit meeting today with Bulls management. Parties met briefly day after elimination, more substantively today.

http://twitter.com/_MarcusD2_/status/870507837167816705

http://twitter.com/bengolliver/status/858156096833282048
Should the Heat be interested in acquiring Paul George from the Pacers? -- Daniel, Miami. A: I don't know if they "should be," but I know that they will consider every and any possibilities when it comes to elite-level players, be it George or Jimmy Butler, when those respective teams are eliminated from the playoffs. For as much as Pat Riley praised what the Heat have in place, the reality is that you win in the NBA with elite-level talent surrounded by the proper supporting pieces. But if a playoff team is to move on from such a talent, it likely will require a top-tier piece and a youth element in return. So if you're talking about George or Butler, you're probably also talking about Hassan Whiteside or Goran Dragic in return. When it comes to the youth element, the Heat do not have a first-round pick to offer in return, although there is the youth of Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson. So, to instead offer the simplest response: Yes, absolutely, should a player of that ilk come on the market.
Paul George and Jimmy Butler were involved in trade rumors at the deadline, and all indications are that those conversations will resume this offseason. One front-office source told me recently that Butler is “as good as gone,” while George sounds like a player who wants out.
When the Bulls hit the All-Star break as barely a playoff team with veteran leaders mouthing off in unsettling ways, Butler's name became one of the most prominently mentioned in trade talks around the NBA. However, a league source familiar with Chicago's strategy said the team was not initiating trade discussions about Butler but merely fielding calls. There was "absolutely nothing" the team even came close to considering, the person said.
Do you hope to finish your career with the Bulls? Jimmy Butler: Yes. I can't see what tomorrow will bring, but I love it here. You know, they took a risk on a kid that was not very good with the 30th pick in the 2011 draft, so I feel like I owe the city the little amount of talent that I have on that basketball court. I love it here. I love these people. I want to be here.
"That would be concerning," Griffin added. "I mean, we don't get to play anybody else's cards, right? So spending a lot of time worrying about it doesn't make sense. But certainly we were paying attention. Toronto obviously made some moves to get much better and our conference has been I think quietly getting better on a steady increase since we got there. So I think we were concerned with the whole conference."
"The Cavs were on pins and needles yesterday about the Celtics getting Paul George or Jimmy Butler," said Brian Windhorst on Zach Lowe's podcast," said Brian Windhorst on Zach Lowe's podcast.
Sources continued to say that, while there remains a chance things could change as the deadline draws nearer, Chicago and Indiana are more likely to retain Jimmy Butler and Paul George, respectively. Those All-Star talents have been the Celtics’ two main targets, and the club will no doubt work to put together an attractive trade package if either is truly on the market.
The Bulls have told teams that have inquired about Butler — including, according to a source, the 76ers — that they have no plans to trade him. Of course, one blockbuster offer could change that stance. And the Celtics are loaded with assets. Most league observers expect the teams to at least have dialogue Thursday after engaging in serious talks centered on Butler last June.
Sources continued to say that, while there remains a chance things could change as the deadline draws nearer, Chicago and Indiana are more likely to retain Jimmy Butler and Paul George, respectively. Those All-Star talents have been the Celtics’ two main targets, and the club will no doubt work to put together an attractive trade package if either is truly on the market.
One agent with ties to a potential deal insists that even preliminary talk between the Bulls and Celtics recently went nowhere when the C’s did not want to include this summer’s Nets choice. There is no definitive word on whether they would be willing to include it for George, though that would certainly seem likely and even a requirement from Indiana’s standpoint.
Brian Robb: Full comments from @daldridgetnt on @NBATV on inclusion of Jae Crowder being a potential sticking point in Jimmy Butler negotiations

http://twitter.com/CelticsHub/status/834406253371805697/photo/1
Marc Stein: I have heard that Boston have not abandoned all interest in Jahlil Okafor. I certainly don't think that the priority for them, the priority is getting Jimmy Butler or Paul George, but I still think you got to keep your eyes on the Celtics with Okafor.
Adrian Wojnarowski on Jimmy Butler: Boston at some point this week will reach back out, I’m fairly certain, and maybe come back with another offer. They’ve talked in the past. Chicago is in a position where they want someone to blow them away with an offer. Boston has the opportunity because of having the Brooklyn’s pick.
The Celtics have reservations, according to league sources, about adding Butler after how wonderfully the Isaiah Thomas emergence has gone. There is valid reason for concern, because Thomas is reveling in his top-dog status. This is what he said after the All-Star Game late Sunday night: "I'm coming for the scoring title."
The Lakers called about Boogie, but ultimately valued Brandon Ingram too much to reel in the Kings center. Several league sources also suggested the Lakers aren't offering Ingram as they chase other superstars (George and Butler) too.
K.C. Johnson: Takes 1 blockbuster offer to change, but Bulls are rebuffing Butler inquiries/have told teams they have no plans to trade him, per source.
A deal for Butler now seems unlikely, unless the Bulls are posturing. There is some debate over whether Boston did or did not ever include the 2017 Nets pick in an official offer, but they'd have to for Chicago to really engage. Perhaps clarity will come at the lottery, after Chicago sees how far Butler can take their current team and everyone knows where Boston will pick.
Of course, even if the Bulls were to reach an organizational consensus on trading Butler before Thursday, it takes two to tango. And league sources indicated the Celtics have been underwhelmed by all preliminary offers for their main future assets — the Nets' 2017 and 2018 first-round picks. The former could be the top pick in a strong draft.
Butler’s name has been rumored in trade talk, though there hasn’t seemed like any serious discussions. “I never know what tomorrow brings, so I’ll just lay down, dream and hopefully wake up the next day,” said a contemplative Butler looking forward to his shorter All-Star break. “Am I anxious for (Thursday)? I don’t worry about that; I’ll be OK. Not saying I’m untradeable, but I don’t think about that. If I’m not in a Bulls uniform, I’ll give you (reporter) a hug and say goodbye to you. Hopefully I’m not going to die, but hopefully I’m not going to get traded, either. I won’t know. I don’t control that. Control what I can control, like going on vacation.”
Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Indiana’s Paul George and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins are three players who on paper at least, would meet that criteria. Multiple league sources this weekend confirmed that each of their respective teams isn’t making a push to trade them. But like every team in the league, they will certainly listen to any and all offers. Only Indiana and Sacramento have come out publicly to say they are not planning to trade their players, with the Pacers indicating they’re willing to give up their first-round pick in order to add a stable, proven talent to the mix in order to help George going forward.
Meanwhile, the Bulls have been somewhat indifferent to potentially moving Butler, who is playing his third all-star game tonight. That’s why several teams, the Celtics included, have inquired about Butler’s availability. While the Bulls haven’t set any specific parameters, league executives believe they are seeking some combination of high draft picks and young veterans (players with experience who are either near the end of their rookie deals or have team-friendly contracts) just to consider moving Butler.
That more than anything else, is what will ultimately determine if a deal between the Bulls and the Celtics comes to pass. Boston loves Butler, and believes he could be part of their continued surge towards becoming an elite team that can bring home Banner 18. But the Celtics are not convinced that the addition of Butler would necessarily catapult Boston to the same level of Cleveland or ahead of them.
There have been tepid discussions about Butler-to-the-Celtics at various times over the past year, though nothing pressing in recent weeks, according to league sources. It’s safe to assume that there will be renewed talks this week. But that does not mean a deal will get done, not with both sides tentative about the wisdom of a trade that the rest of the NBA’s observer class seems to think is such an obvious fit.
League sources told SN this weekend that the Bulls are still very much uncertain of the direction they want to take this season. Rebuilding makes the most sense — the decision to sign veterans Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade last summer was a mistake — but the Bulls are still very much in position to make the playoffs in the East.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The potential of a Boston, Chicago deal for Jimmy Butler would loom over the entire week. These teams have engaged on the potential of this trade, they have not gotten far down the road on it. There still need to be an alignment within the Bulls’ organization from ownership to management that they want to make the decision to enter a full rebuild.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The fact that the Celtics swap with Brooklyn this year, they have their pick which could be potentially a Top-3 pick and they have the Brooklyn’s pick outright next year. Either one of those picks, I don’t think Chicago can get both of them, that’s the beginning point of a deal for the Bulls for Jimmy Butler.
Fans got the chance to hear straight from the Bull’s mouth who he’d most like to play with on ESPN’s First Take. “I’d probably have to go with my favorite player who’s not myself and that’s Kyrie,” Butler said. “I love Kyrie’s game man, and he’s a really good dude.”
A better question might be this: Should Butler want the Bulls to trade him? A source close to Butler said the swingman doesn't want that outcome. He is grounded in Chicago, according to the source, and would loathe to leave with unfinished business. Superman, of course, is nothing if not loyal. And Butler feels a degree of loyalty to the franchise that entrusted a first-round pick to a relatively unknown prospect.
League sources sort of joked at the idea of either Chicago guard Jimmy Butler or Pacers forward Paul George being obtainable in trade at the deadline, saying “You can always call, every team answers the phone during the All-Star break.” The consensus on both Butler and George is that neither team, Chicago nor Indiana, would actually consider a serious offer at this point, mainly because moving either player would require an open roster spot to consummate and neither team really has one.
KC Johnson: Butler/Hoiberg asked whether Bulls should be buyers/sellers at trade deadline. Jimmy Butler: "I’m good. I’ll stay in my lane, play basketball."
With that said, one executive pointed out that the Bulls can be tough to negotiate with, add that if Chicago does decide make a trade, they would likely wait until just before the deadline to complete the deal. Another league source speculated that moving a face-of-the-franchise like Butler seems more like an offseason move than a mid-season one, but did add that a trade could happen if the right offer came along.
Butler, sources said, is a favorite of team President Michael Reinsdorf. The Tribune reported in June that ownership at the time wanted to avoid a full rebuild, having lived through the post-dynasty era. Whether that stance will change is unknown. Butler was asked Wednesday about his relationship with management. "It's good. They're my bosses," Butler said. "We talk like men if I have a problem. If they have a problem, we talk like we're supposed to. It's very professional."
Bulls sources said recently that the team is at something of a crossroads, admitting that many of the young players the team had hoped could grow into the support players around Butler, frankly, have not been equal to the task. When you combine that with recent outbursts from both Butler and Dwyane Wade in the media about the work ethic of some of the Bulls’ younger players, there is a growing sense among league insiders that cashing Butler out might be the best course for the future.
Late last week, a league source suggested Butler did not appear to be on the trade market --yet. But you can be sure the Celtics are monitoring the situation closely. We're only seven months removed from serious draft-night discussions between the Celtics and Bulls, and Chicago's season is threatening to spin out of control.
There are rival executives who believe the Bulls and Celtics will rekindle trade talks centered on Jimmy Butler before the Feb. 23 deadline. The teams held serious talks in June, and the Celtics own the same assets — Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, the Nets' first-round picks in 2017 and 2018 — the teams discussed then.
Teams have inquired about Butler's price tag this season in the type of talks that take place all the time throughout the league. Executives from two other teams said last month they were given the impression that Butler isn't available for now. It's unlikely that changes by the Feb. 23 trade deadline, which comes four days after Butler's third straight All-Star Game, although non-efforts like Friday night's loss at Atlanta give pause. This offseason will bring more inquiries.
Horace Grant, who serves as special advisor to president and chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf, says Chicago doesn’t need any drastic moves to reach the postseason. In a video posted on CSNChicago, the former Bull says the team just needs its key players to stay healthy. “I wouldn’t worry about trading anyone,” Grant said. “I wouldn’t worry about trading Jimmy or anything. I will find a way with the pieces that we have now, which I sincerely think that we’re going to make the playoffs, that we’re going to make a push.”
Sources told ESPN that there continues to be debate within the organization about whether to press the button on a full-scale rebuild, and the 35-year-old Wade doesn't sound like a man who wants to go through that at this stage of his career.
The Timberwolves explored several trade options in June, including for Chicago star Jimmy Butler, but Thibodeau, also Minnesota’s president of basketball operations, now sounds as committed as anyone in the franchise to his young trio. Outside the organization, executives wonder about Minnesota’s inclination to keep all three. But within the franchise, there is no question: management and owner Glen Taylor will do whatever it takes financially in order to win. “I love our core three guys, and what I love most is their work ethic, their dedication to work,” Thibodeau said. “They understand the level we need to reach, particularly defensively, and their work shows that they will work to get it right. We understand that it’s going to take some time and we need to work at it each and every day.”
But make no mistake: Following the Derrick Rose trade, the internal draft-night debate on whether to trade Butler to the Celtics was real. And the Bulls, according to multiple sources at the time, held advanced discussions with the Celtics centered on Butler and the No. 3 overall pick.
A league source with knowledge of the situation indicated to me that Chicago also demanded an additional starter-level player in the deal. It’s unclear what was and wasn’t discussed exactly, but what we do know is that the Bulls weren’t prepared to go full-rebuild (though that could change by the trade deadline). “We’re trying to find deals. And sometimes you have to make small deals in order to be able to have big deals,” Ainge said. “You have to put yourself in position with good young players and good contracts and future assets. It puts us in the game if there’s a player that becomes available in the trade market, but they have to like those young players and assets,” Ainge said.
Storyline: Jimmy Butler Trade?
More HoopsHype Rumors
August 3, 2021 | 8:36 am EDT Update
Do you think we can finally retire all the tropes about Giannis? Like the things James Harden said about him? Is it time to get rid of that? Candace Parker: Yes and no. I think results do define legacy for some people. But at the same time: when you do it again? That’s different. People can still talk junk right now. Kawhi [Leonard] messed up his knee and he was out and the Clippers lost. Giannis messed up his knee and I don’t know how he came back from that. Every doctor I talked to said that’s a [torn] ACL and he should be done, yet he comes back and wins the championship. But is he a different player? He’s not different! He’s still doing the same thing! For now, it’s alright. But Brooklyn, man? Brooklyn’s waiting next year.
M3Linked, the first-of-its-kind franchise dedicated to cultivating business collaboration, announced today its official partnership with NBA legend James Worthy. The Michigan-based brand that is revolutionizing the act of business collaboration in communities from coast to coast has welcomed Worthy as not only a member but as a partner to its LA community and an ambassador.