There’s going to be a lot of rumors surrounding Jimmy Butler and trades as the NBA offseason gets going next month. Butler himself was subjected to a never-ending cycle of rumors leading up to February’s trade deadline.
The situation with Butler and his Chicago Bulls team doesn’t seem to be resolved at all right now. In fact, Butler himself demanded a meeting with the Bulls’ organization to discuss the direction of the team after they were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.
Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live Thursday after Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Butler pretty much displayed no interest in joining the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Everywhere I go, especially here in LA, everybody goes ‘oh he’s coming to the Lakers, he’s in LA,'” Butler said.
At that point, the Kimmel offered a follow-up question.
“You’re not coming to the Lakers? Why aren’t you coming to the Lakers?” Kimmel said.
Butler’s response couldn’t have been more clear.
“Because I love Chicago so very much,” the All-Star said in response. “They took a chance on me in 2011 with the 30th pick so I’m forever grateful for that.”
Surely Butler isn’t going to go in front of a national television audience and declare that he wants to play for the Lakers. That’s not how it works. All the jokes in the interview aside, it sure looks like Butler is not really interested in joining the Lakers’ rebuild with new president Magic Johnson calling the shots.
Butler could still very well be traded this summer. Though, things would have to work out perfectly for him to land with the Lakers. They have been linked more to Paul George, who might end up simply signing with his home-town team in free agency following the 2017-18 season (more on that here).
Then again, Los Angeles does have the assets to make a move for someone of Butler’s ilk. Flush with the No. 2 overall pick and a nice amount of young talent, the Lakers could make for a nice trade partner with Chicago.
Time will tell on that front.