With the free agency and the NBA draft approaching, a lot of frenzy and rumors have been circulating around different teams. The Chicago Bulls, who could potentially lose a couple of free agents this offseason, are the latest team to be involved in various trade rumors. On Monday, ESPN’s Chad Ford and Marc Stein revealed that the Minnesota Timberwolves (who will be coached by former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau) were interested in giving their fifth pick to the Chicago Bulls in order to acquire Jimmy Butler. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported on Tuesday that , according to league sources in Italy, the Bulls are more interested in trading Derrick Rose, who becomes a free agent after next season, than Jimmy Butler. While nothing is certain, Rose has addressed the prospects of his upcoming free agency. The only thing that does remain certain is that the Bulls are in desperate need of a crucial rebuild, and the team’s current position and rumors validate that. What should the Bulls do in this offseason? Should they trade Jimmy Butler? Should they trade Derrick Rose? Our writers weigh in.
Should the Bulls trade Butler or Rose?
Irving Mejia, Spark Sports NBA & NFL Analyst:
In my opinion, despite being 26 years old, Jimmy Butler can still be a centerpiece for the Bulls. He proved time and time again this season why he’s one of the league’s most proficient scorers.Take a look back at the nights where he torched playoff teams like the Detroit Pistonswith 43 points, the Toronto Raptors with 42 points, and the Boston Celtics with 36 points. He can match head to head with great defenders like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Avery Bradley just by looking at those performances. Furthermore, if you look at the statistics, Jimmy Butler had a higher TS% than Damian Lillard, Paul George, Kemba Walker, and Russell Westbrook. If you ask me, those are all extremely efficient scorers and huge centerpieces of their teams. Jimmy, if anybody should stay since he can still grow into an even better player than he is right now. Derrick Rose on the other hand, he’s not getting any younger and that speed and athleticism is wearing off. The shine has wore off the apple for Derrick Rose, just by looking at the statistics, he and Jimmy don’t match up well. Butler averages more points per game, more assists per game, and more rebounds per game! Even analytically speaking, the only thing Rose has that’s higher than Butler is his TOV% and USG%. Jimmy Butler is clearly better statistically and he’s clearly better on the court mentally and physically.
T’abren Wallace, Spark Sports NBA Analyst:
Honest opinion is that the Bulls should trade Rose to find a more reliable point guard. When Rose is on the court he has his games when he does good and when he plays bad.
Jensen Toussaint, Spark Sports NBA Analyst:
If the Chicago Bulls commit to a full rebuild, it would be in their best interest to trade Jimmy Butler. He’s one of the best two-way players in the league right now and at only 26, still has many years to get even better. If the Bulls aren’t committed to a full rebuild and have a desire to remain competitive, Butler is the perfect type of player to build around. Derrick Rose is a more complicated matter. He is only 27, but seems a lot older due to the many injuries he’s had to deal with over the past 4 seasons. Teams know that and likely wouldn’t give up much value in a trade to get him. With only one year remaining on his contract, he’d likely only be a rental anyway so likely even more teams would steer clear of him. I’d say the Bulls would prefer to trade Rose, but know they’d get better value in return by trading Butler.
Justin Golba, Spark Sports NCAA Analyst:
I think the Bulls should try to move both, but they will get a lot more in return for Butler and that makes the rebuilding process go more smoothly.
Ted Van Green, Spark Sports Contributor:
I don’t think the Bulls should trade Jimmy Butler. It would actually be downright stupid, unless they are getting something of true value in return. Butler is young, and can still be a part of this rebuild. I doubt the Bulls will try for a multi-year rebuild. We have seen teams have a down year and then rebound, and that’s exactly what I think the Bulls will try to do. Butler is signed to a contract that is about to look like a enormous steal once the cap starts exploding. If they don’t move Butler now, they can still find something for him in a year or two if they decide to blow the whole thing up.
As for Rose, I think they should trade him. Look, I like Rose. I, like many other Bulls fans had so much hope for him but at this point his athleticism has been robbed. I’m not 100% sure he is the best locker room guy. Make no mistake, this is Butler’s team. With one year left on his deal, Rose could be an interesting trade candidate for someone who needs a point guard in the short term, but doesn’t want to tie up cap space for 2017. He could also be an interesting piece for a team that needs to reach the cap floor. I think they should move Rose to open up cap space, get some sort of asset in return, and move on from the early 2010’s Bulls teams.
Shawn Valdrighi, Spark Sports Editor and Analyst:
If the Bulls are forced to trade either Butler or Rose, I believe they should trade Rose. While Butler would be give the Bulls a better value on the trading block, Rose isn’t providing the Bulls the spark he once had. I would rather take the chance that Rose could return to form somewhere else rather than let Butler go while he is in his rising prime.
If Butler is traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for their fifth pick, what is the likelihood of success for the Bulls without him and the Timberwolves with him?
Starting off with the Bulls, they’ll more than likely center the offense around Derick Rose which is not the way to go about this. Here’s why, Derrick Rose’s athleticism and ball handling hasn’t been the same since the knee injuries that plagued him 2 years ago. He hardly drives inside the rim with the acrobatic acts that he could before and he’s no longer the swift ball handler that could break ankles at any second. Centering the offense around that is most definitely not going to lead any type of success. Not to add the fact that Joakim Noah
and Pau Gasol
are leaving for greener pastures. Chicago hardly has any natural scorers other thanDoug McDermott
and Nikola Mirotic
and placing them in there with a player who had a tendency to ball hog last season might not help them out all that much unless Rose learns how to pass the ball. If they’re lucky, the draft will be kind to them and they’ll be able to draft Dragan Bender
or Marquese Chriss
. Either way, immediate success is simply not going to occur. Though both are talented scorers they’ll need time to grow, and it’s perhaps time that Derrick Rose doesn’t have.
As for the Timberwolves, if they end up trading away the #5 pick, and Andrew Wiggins
as all the reports say, they won’t find immediate success either in my opinion. Ricky Rubio
will still hinder the bench with his lack of shooting and the lack of a real power forward will hold them back. Karl-Anthony Towns
may be one of the league’s most talented centers, but he alone cannot carry the frontcourt. The Timberwolves should draft a power forward to compliment Karl-Anthony Towns. By trading the pick they trade a large part of their future. In addition to that, Jimmy Butler is practically the same as Andrew Wiggins statistically speaking! All the Wolves would be getting is an older, less potential-filled version of Andrew Wiggins. So would they find immediate success, the answer is a clear no. The Wolves wouldn’t improve in any way and all they would do is just lost a huge draft pick and one of the most intriguing rising stars in the league in Andrew Wiggins.
Either way it goes, if Butler is traded to the Timberwolves there will be no chemistry by the time the season starts and the Timberwolves still won’t make the playoffs. The starting lineup will be nice and all but there will be no chemistry.
If Butler is traded for the #5 pick of the Timberwolves, I think it’d be safe to say the Timberwolves dramatically improve while the Bulls take a significant step back. For starters, this isn’t a very deep draft. Who would the Bulls draft for that #5 pick? Jamal Murray
? Buddy Hield
? Kris Dunn
? Jaylen Brown
? These are all talented players, but none of them bring to the table what Butler does… at least not at the moment. However, I don’t see any of them having the same two-way potential Butler currently has.
As for the Timberwolves, they receive a proven All-Star in Butler. Put him next to Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns and you have the makings of a pretty dominant Big Three. We know Coach Tom Thibodeau will get the best out of his team and if you add a player like Butler (especially seeing as how Thibs already has great familiarity with him) to that already talented, young core, the playoffs are right on the horizon.
I think the Bulls record would suffer a little, but not a lot for two separate reasons. The first is they would get a lot in return for Butler and guys that can produce right away and the second being they would free up cap room to maybe sign a big name this off season that can also help them from day one. But it will suffer because Butler is such a great talent on both ends of the ball.
If the Bulls trade Butler straight up for the #5 pick I would cry. Especially if Boston is offering Bradley and picks for him. Regardless, trading Butler signals to me that the Bulls are probably entering a multi year rebuild, unless they have some free agent trick up their sleeve(hello KD! hello LBJ!). So the likelihood of them succeeding without Butler is small, simply because it is hard to trade away your best player and succeed without getting a star of equal magnitude.
The Timberwolves on the other hand become very interesting. It makes them an even stronger playoff contender. If they can get Butler for just the #5 pick, they would have Butler, Wiggins, Towns for the next four years. That should be a good enough core to get you to the playoffs even in the West as long as you surround them with the right bench guys and get a little injury luck. With Butler, I think the T-Wolves could make it to the playoffs and maybe even win a playoff series depending on the opponent.
Let’s say Butler is moved to the Timberwolves for the #5 pick as rumors are suggesting. I think this move throws the Timberwolves in contention for a lower playoff seed in the West. A Butler-Wiggins-Anthony Towns base is a scary prospect for the next few years in the West. Now the Bulls would basically go back to square one as a franchise, but could recover if they reach for Jaylen Brown or if Buddy Hield slides to them at #5.
Which team(s) would possibly benefit from acquiring Rose?
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Derrick Rose could still contribute to teams like the Suns
in my opinion. For starters, Derrick Rose is still talented despite how badly i’ve talked about him here, he’s still a good inside scorer who still maintains good control of his body while he’s in the air. He may not be what he used to be and he’s not a one of a kind point guard, but he can still lead a team to the NBA Finals with the right supporting cast. All of the teams above are either in a rebuilding stage or are about to enter one. Derrick could fit in with any of these teams if he’s looking for a new beginning with new teammates. All of these teams have legitimate talent.
The Suns have Devin Booker
and Alex Len
, they could trade Knight and Bledsoe for assets and start from scratch if they really wanted to commit to Derrick Rose.
The Knicks just need a point guard, lining him up with Carmelo Anthony
could be weird at first considering that they’re both ball dominant players, but it could work as the season goes on and as they both adjust to each other.
The Spurs might be losing the core that they currently have, Tony Parker
certainly didn’t look good in the 2nd round of the Western Conference playoffs when he was matched up against Russell Westbrook. Rose might be a better option than Parker considering that he’s more athletic and still has time to grow.
As for the Kings, pick and rolls with Boogie. That’s it. Just imagine if Demarcus Cousins
had a point guard as athletic as Derrick Rose! The possibilities are almost endless for the two!
Sacramento Kings would benefit from Rose because Rose would come off the bench and they would have a backup for Rondo.
New York Knicks. Going to New York with Melo and Porzing. will help out New York a lot. The Knicks are desperately in need of a point guard. Trading away their pick will be worth it then if the Knicks have a chance of signing KD they will be a playoff team again.
Dallas Mavericks will benefit also because their PG they have now (Deron Williams) is in the same boat as Rose. Williams stays hurts just as much as Rose. Having both of these guys on the same team will help limit the minutes between the both of them.
An argument can be made that the PG position is the strongest position in the NBA at the moment. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of the teams are satisfying with their current starting PG. The only team I can think of that has a desperate need for an upgrade at PG are the Brooklyn Nets
. Last season’s PG duties for the Nets were split between Shane Larkin
and neither are really the right types of PG to trot out for a winning team. Rose would definitely be a big upgrade over both players. Other teams such as the 76ers
, Mavericks, and Kings could also likely benefit from having Rose, however I believe the Nets are the team who would benefit most from having him.
I think their are three teams that stick out to me as teams that could use Rose…the Knicks, Jazz and Sixers. These teams all have young talent and money to spend, but no proven point guard to help develop the players around him. This player could be Rose for any of those teams.
This is the toughest question to answer. The team that pops to mind is the Nets. I’m not really sure what they have to lose by doing it honestly. They are the most commonly named trade partner for Rose that I have seen. Other teams off the top of my head could be the Kings if Rondo doesn’t come back. Perhaps the Grizzlies
if Conley moves on. Maybe the 76ers if they are interested in hitting the cap floor and actually want to win 20-25 games this year. The issue for the Bulls is the depth at the point guard position, and how much Rose makes. He won’t even be considered a steal for his contract even with the cap going up.
Derrick Rose, as battered as he may be, can still have good performances and consistent play. The best landing spots for him would be either Brooklyn, Memphis, or New Orleans. Brooklyn has lacked a point guard since the spiraling of Deron Williams, but I don’t think they would want another injury prone point guard after D-Will. Mike Conley
could be out in Memphis and the Grizzlies could use Rose’s offense. Anthony Davis needs a better second option and Rose could be that with a return to form.