Jimmy Butler’s career-year could get him a one-way ticket out of Chicago, the only NBA home the six-year veteran forward has ever known.
With the trade deadline just over a month away, Butler has become the hottest trade prospect in the league, fueled by his career-high numbers in scoring (25.6 ppg), rebounding (6.9) and free throw percentage (88 percent).
The latest rumors have the Bulls considering shipping the 27-year-old All-Star forward to Orlando as part of a five-player deal that would land the high-flying Aaron Gordon in Chicago.
Hoops Habit reports the deal would also entail guard Jerain Grant heading to Orlando and center Nikola Vucevic and guard Elfrid Payton going to the Bulls.
No matter where he is or what the situation seems to be, these days there seems to no stopping Butler, who’s reeled off nights of 25, 26, 52 and 42 points in four of his last games. Over his last 10 games, he’s averaging 28 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals.
In even thinking of dealing the still improving veteran forward, the Bulls appear to be surrendering any thought of winning in the here and now and casting an eye on the future by getting even younger less than a season after trading hometown hero Derrick Rose and allowing Joakim Noah to walk in free agency.
In the case of the 21-year-old, high-rising Gordon, the Bulls envision being able to move him back to his natural power forward position and watching him grow and mature in it to the point of perhaps becoming one of the league’s most versatile big men.
Even while playing out of position in Orlando the entire time he’s been there, Gordon has exhibited All-Star like potential, averaging 11 points, five rebounds and two assists in just his third NBA season.
Factor in a widespread belief around the league that Gordon’s development in Orlando may have been slowed a bit by already playing for four different coaches, and the Bulls seem of the mind he has only started to scratch the surface of who he can become.
All his athleticism was on full display last season during All-Star weekend when he battled defending slam dunk champion Zach LaVine down to the wire in one of the most exciting competitions in recent memory.
In Payton and Vucevic, respectively, the Bulls would get a potential long term starting point guard and a proven scoring option off the bench.
Payton too has had his moments in Orlando, averaging 10 points, six assists and four rebounds over his first three seasons there, including 11 points and six assists this season.
But with Butler, who is under contract until 2020, the Magic would have their biggest star since the days of Dwight Howard leading them to the NBA Finals.
In acquiring such a dominant player, Orlando could pair him with fellow vets Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo, Evan Fournier and Jeff Green and perhaps make a playoff run in the watered down Eastern Conference this season.
A player of Butler’s stature could also serve as a draw for the Magic in potentially attracting other free agents down to Florida. The Magic have four expiring contract this offseason, setting the table for them to be able to make a run at a top-flight free agent with the All-Star Butler as the lure.
Butler is also rumored to be attracting attention from the Pistons, Nuggets, Celtics and Timberwolves, where fellow young high-riser Andrew Wiggins is rumored to be part of a potential deal.
[Featured Image by Stacey Revere/Getty Images]
NBA Trade Rumors: Jimmy Butler To Orlando For Aaron Gordon is an article from: The Inquisitr News
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