ESPN Cleveland: Windhorst: The Butler trade is virtuall…

More on Jimmy Butler Trade?

Denver has spoken to the Bulls about Jimmy Butler, source told ESPN. Would include multiple young players, not Nikola Jokic, and picks.
Ian Begley: Opposing executives believe Minnesota is considering using its No. 7 pick as part of a package to try to re-engage the Chicago Bulls on a trade for Jimmy Butler, ESPN has learned. The Cavs had previously tried to trade for Butler but were unsuccessful. Sources told ESPN's Marc Stein that Butler earlier this week expressed a desire to remain in Chicago and lead the Bulls back to prominence. The Vertical reported earlier this week that Minnesota had preliminary talks with Chicago about Butler.
Shams Charania: For Jimmy Butler there hasn't been much. Chicago hasn't really been open and really looking to move, as Boston has tried over and over to engage in discussions.
Several league executives who spoke to the Tribune believe Tom Thibodeau's Timberwolves could engage the Bulls on Thursday, although that package likely would have to include young players because the seventh pick falls outside the top impact players.
That leaves the Celtics, Suns and Timberwolves as teams with top-seven picks and other assets in the form of either young players or future first-round picks to move the needle on the Butler talks. The Suns, who own the fourth pick, are trying to offload the two years and $29 million remaining on Eric Bledsoe's deal as part of any trade package, sources said.
According to a Cleveland source close to the situation, several of the Cavaliers who had been prodding Butler to push for a trade from the Bulls the last five days were now warning him to stay away from a suddenly volatile situation. With the ouster of Cavaliers general manager David Griffin on Monday, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love could be headed for an unforeseen early breakup.
Through back channels, Irving let it be known that he’d be interested in coming to Chicago. Clearly the asking price for Irving would be too rich for the Bulls, so a third team would have to be brought into the mix. “Jimmy wants to win, period,’’ a source said. “Whatever it takes to get that done.’’
Sources told ESPN on Tuesday that the Cavaliers have been notified that Butler hopes to stay with the Bulls and would be reluctant to commit his long-term future to Cleveland. Butler, sources said, remains intent on trying to lead the Bulls back to Eastern Conference prominence.
The Bulls routinely say they'll take phone calls from teams about Butler's availability around this time and at the trade deadline but this time around, multiple sources tell CSNChicago.com the Bulls are doing more than listening: they're shopping Butler to many teams. It appears the Bulls have made the decision to try to jumpstart their rebuilding process and see what the best offer is for Butler as opposed to just gauging his value.
Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin left for his successors potential trades to bring either Chicago's Jimmy Butler or Indiana's Paul George to the team, sources told cleveland.com, and one or more deals Griffin constructed could happen without him. In either case, a third team would be involved and would take All-Star forward Kevin Love in exchange for the mix of picks and role players the Bulls and Pacers seek to rebuild in the event they choose to deal their franchise player.
Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin left for his successors potential trades to bring either Chicago's Jimmy Butler or Indiana's Paul George to the team, sources told cleveland.com, and one or more deals Griffin constructed could happen without him.
In either case, a third team would be involved and would take All-Star forward Kevin Love in exchange for the mix of picks and role players the Bulls and Pacers seek to rebuild in the event they choose to deal their franchise player.
According to multiple sources out of 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 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 VP of basketball operations John Paxson numerous times over the last year that he didn’t want to be traded.
At 6 p.m. ET on Monday, Griffin was on the phone assessing Jimmy Butler’s desire to play with LeBron James and the Cavs, according to two people with direct knowledge of the calls. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the conversations. By 7:30 p.m. ET, Griffin and the Cavs had parted ways.
It's believed that the Cavaliers, by offering All-Star forward Kevin Love, could recruit a third team that would supply the sort of young players and/or draft picks sure to be more appealing to Chicago than the limited trade assets on Cleveland's roster.
Marc Stein: The Cavaliers, per league sources, have been working today on assembling multi-team trade scenarios to try to acquire Chicago's Jimmy Butler. K.C. Johnson: Suns would be possibility for 3rd team.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Chicago’s price for Jimmy Butler remains elevated, but Minnesota has assets and interest. Sides made preliminary contact this week. K.C. Johnson: Suns are another team to watch, per source.
Surely, the Celtics must be coming for Butler next, right? As of Sunday, the talk is based more on speculation than reality, a stance that at least three league executives the Tribune spoke to over the weekend don't expect to change by Thursday. There is plenty of belief within the league and the Bulls organization that the Celtics are poised to use the No. 3 pick Thursday and then pursue Jazz All-Star Gordon Hayward in free agency come July.
Steve Kyler: While NBA Draft is fluid - no sense in NBA circles that Jimmy Butler likely to be traded around the draft - won't stop teams from asking
The more assets the Celtics have, the more assets the Bulls would ask for in a potential deal. But many around the Bulls don’t believe Ainge will even come calling before draft night, sources tell CSNChicago.com. The Celtics have enough to put a competitive team on the floor as is without having to add a player of Butler’s caliber.
We got Wahlberg out in NYC and asked him about the Celtics' envious dilemma, whether to use the #1 pick in this year's draft on a college stud (probably Fultz) or trade for an elite NBA player. Mark -- a huge Celtics fan -- made his position clear, he wants to slang the pick, and wouldn't mind getting his good friend -- and Bulls star -- Jimmy Butler back in return.
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.
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.
Storyline: Jimmy Butler Trade?
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December 2, 2021 | 1:00 pm EST Update
Harden is taking only 14.4 shots per game, over two fewer than a year ago and a whopping 10 below his career high. (Tallying fewer than 20 points in a game isn’t the sole mark of irreversible decline, but it’s a neat round number Harden once crossed in his sleep. This season he’s failed to reach it 11 times in 21 tries. Last year it was 13. The season before? Seven. The two seasons combined prior to that? Six.) Thanks to the three-point line and some stellar work in isolation—albeit at half the volume of what it was just two seasons ago—Harden’s true shooting percentage is more or less very good (62.3% over the last 10 games). And after a slow start, he’s beginning to draw fouls and get to the line like he used to. His free-throw rate is one of this season’s 15 best, and the percentage of his points earned at the line jumped from 22.5 in Brooklyn’s first 10 games to 36.5 in 11 through 20—a mark that’s high even for him.
It’s worked so far. The Bulls are 14-8, tied for second place in the East, with top-10 ratings on both offense and defense. They’ve already beaten the Jazz, Nets, and Celtics, as well as both L.A. teams. And the revamped roster is clicking to the point that Chicago can dream about not just avoiding the play-in morass, but challenging for home-court advantage in the first round. “I’m always confident. I put the work in. But having [DeRozan] next to me, having Vooch next to me, Lonzo, that just makes me more confident and more ready to play,” LaVine said at the start of the season. He added, “We got a bunch of no. 1 options.”
That’s where the “tough-shot-maker” role comes in. Since the start of last season, LaVine’s 3-point accuracy is 8 percentage points higher than expected, based on factors like shot angle and defender distance. That’s the fifth-best mark out of 77 players with at least 400 3-point attempts in that span, per Second Spectrum, behind only Joe Harris, Curry, Joe Ingles, and Michael Porter Jr. “I’ve never played with a player like Zach before,” DeRozan said. “The things he’s capable of doing offensively is intimidating at times, how easy he can do the things he can do. It’s fun; it heightens my level to go out there and want to be neck and neck with him.”
This is a weird question to ask a guy who has won three championships, but are there times when you feel like you have to prove something as a coach? I know you don’t get up in the morning worried about that sort of thing, but do you ever ponder your coaching legacy and how people look at your part in this whole thing? Steve Kerr: I never lose any sleep over that. I count my blessings that I’ve been able to coach the players that I’ve coached and be in the organization that I’m in because I know how lucky I am. But part of what allowed me to stay in the NBA for 15 years as a player is that losing humiliates me, you know? My competitive desire drives me. But like a lot of players at this level, the fear of losing is an even bigger motivator. So even though I don’t stop and think about legacy or anything like that, I just want to f—— win, you know? It burns in me. I want to win so badly. It’s kind of how I’ve been since I was five years old, and Draymond’s the same way and Steph’s the same way and Klay’s the same way. And what I love is that collectively, we’re getting off the mat this year. And we’re saying, ‘All right, let’s get it. Let’s do it again.’ Whatever that means. Whatever people write. However people feel about us. The main thing is that we’re competing again and we’re enjoying the competition.
But isn’t there something there, internally, where you reassess? Steve Kerr: It’s great to be back in the mix. What I’ve learned, though, in five trips to the Finals, is that so much is just up in the air — circumstances you can’t control. I know it’s coach speak, but if we just come in every day and get our work in and enjoy the process, we’re going to win a ton of games. We’ve already proven that. We keep trying to get better, put ourselves in the best position possible. We think we can win a championship, but I’ve watched in the Finals. I’ve watched two guys get season-ending injuries. I watched Kevin Love and Kyrie (Irving) go down the first year we won (against Cleveland in 2015). I’ve seen everything. I saw as a Laker fan growing up, with Magic Johnson and Byron Scott holding their hamstrings (in) the Detroit series (in ’89). Just having watched this and been a part of it for so long, who the hell knows what’s going to happen? So you might as well enjoy it while it’s going.
If you go to the tail end of the Durant era, I think there was certainly a sense among people who were close to the team, and who would write about that culture of joy, that you guys may have lost it. So, do you feel like you lost it? Steve Kerr: I think the fifth year was so difficult — physically, spiritually, emotionally — but mainly because it’s just hard. And you can ask anybody from the Lakers and the Celtics in the 80s. You know, (ask) Phil Jackson or Gregg Popovich. When you do something year after year after year, it just gets to be (hard). And there’s a different sense of energy from, say, the first year to the fifth that was going to be there regardless of our personnel. I think we were exhausted organizationally. I think the players were exhausted. We lost two guys to devastating injuries in the (2019) Finals (Thompson and Durant). You almost can’t write a script like that, you know? And it was so brutal. But like I said, when you do something for that long, such a competitive emotional level — five years, and teams trying to knock you off and building their team to beat you, it’s exhausting. And I think we were all just exhausted.