The Cavaliers are suddenly a team without a general manager, but they’ve been chasing Jimmy Butler and Paul George on the trade market, and it appears that will continue the plan.
It seems as though Butler plans to give the Cavaliers an assist in the endeavor, per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
According to multiple sources in 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 those players 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 vice president of basketball operations John Paxson numerous times over the last year that he didn’t want to be traded.
This is certainly interesting and definitely a departure for Butler, though Cowley citing that his sources are Cleveland-based raises some degree of suspicion here.
Butler pushing the Bulls for a trade is certainly helpful, but he also doesn’t have a ton of leverage. He is locked up until the 2019 season on a very affordable contract, so the Bulls don’t have a ton of incentive to move him other than moving towards a full-scale rebuild.
Butler would obviously be a huge upgrade for Cleveland’s perimeter defense, though his shaky outside shot conflicts with the Cavaliers “all shooters, all the time” approach. That said, it’s a move they would almost certainly make if the price was Kevin Love.
Until they have their front office sorted out, it’ll be hard to get a good read.