NBA Trade Rumors: Jimmy Butler To The Los Angeles Lakers?

According to the latest NBA trade rumors, the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers are engaged in talks that could potentially make Jimmy Butler the heir to Kobe Bryant’s vacant throne.

Is it just me, or has the 2017 deadline been a bit busier than previous deadlines? Not only are the NBA trade rumors running wild, but we’re actually seeing deals getting done.

Now it appears another superstar could be on the move before Thursday’s deadline.

According to NBC Chicago’s Mike Adamle, the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers are discussing a possible deal that would send Jimmy Butler to Hollywood.

While it’s unclear what Chicago’s compensation would be, it appears several potential candidates have been mentioned.

Now before we dive too deep into this, it is worth noting that Adamle mentioned Brandon Ingram isn’t being made available. This coincides with Sunday night’s reports that the Lakers were in discussions to acquire DeMarcus Cousins, but were unwilling to part with 2016 No. 2 overall pick.

Based on what Adamle tweeted, though, both D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle could be in play. Personally, I don’t think parting with both would be a smart move for the Lakers.

Especially with the lackluster compensation the Sacramento Kings received in return for Cousins, Los Angeles has to find a way to avoid breaking up the foundation of this young roster.

Sure, getting Butler in return would help ease the pain of losing both Russell and Randle. However, I don’t think it’s necessary, especially with other valuable assets like Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson also in the mix.

The Lakers need to ensure at least one of their playmaking guards stays in LA. Otherwise, they may not have anyone to pass the ball to Butler.

For the sake of argument, let’s look at a potential deal. Obviously it needs to work from a financial standpoint, but the Bulls will want to make sure they’re getting significant upside in return.

Using ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine, here’s what I came up with:

Jordan Clarkson Los Angeles Lakers

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bulls receive: Jordan Clarkson, Nick Young, Julius Randle
Lakers receive: Jimmy Butler, Michael Carter-Williams

Los Angeles could also throw in some draft considerations, but they don’t have much available before 2020 besides a 2018 second-round pick from the Denver Nuggets.

Replacing Young with Williams is also an option, but I was trying to save the Lakers from completely depriving their roster of talent.

In this case, the Bulls get two young assets in Clarkson and Randle. At the worst, Clarkson gives Chicago a capable playmaker off the bench. As for Randle, he provides a young, high-upside option in the frontcourt.

Young makes it work financially, but also serves as a capable starter with some three-point punch.

It’s not an overwhelming haul, but it turns the page for this troubled franchise and gives them a couple of exciting young options to build around.

As for the Lakers, they get their superstar. Butler is obviously an elite talent, but appears to be at odds with the Bulls brass. This way, he steps in as the unquestioned face of the franchise, surrounded by some intriguing young talent.

MCW helps replace some of the depth lost at guard, but doesn’t provide a ton of value beyond that.

At this point, this is all speculation. We’re not sure how far these discussions have gotten, or if they’ll go any further. However, it’s intriguing nonetheless.

A deal for Butler, though, would be a significant step in the right direction for the Lakers. If they could also find a way to keep their 2017 first-round pick, we might just see them emerge as a playoff-caliber team in the not-so-distant future.

Maybe the hiring of Magic Johnson was exactly what the Lakers needed.

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