The Los Angeles Lakers are not expected to battle for the playoffs in the upcoming season but they have lots of pieces to offer in trades to help their rebuilding process. One of the NBA rumors involves Jimmy Butler being a target of the Lakers this season with L.A. possibly sending out Jordan Clarkson and a future first round pick.
Are the Lakers willing to let go of Clarkson, who had a career-year last season? The expected rise of point guard D’Angelo Russell to stardom in the next few years might force the Los Angeles team to choose between Clarkson and Russell as their main point guard.
According to Gil Alcaraz of Hoops Habit, the Lakers could be targeting big-name players via trade this season. And one of the targets is Butler from the Chicago Bulls.
“You can believe trading for Butler would bring a ton of excitement to the Los Angeles faithful. He’s proven to be an elite scorer for the Bulls, allowing the team to pawn Derrick Rose off on the New York Knicks this offseason. Butler has all the makings of the face of a franchise, but Chicago doesn’t appear interested in him being the face of their franchise,” Alcaraz wrote.
“If they could get him in a trade involving Jordan Clarkson and a future draft pick, the Lakers would be glad to make him the new face of the franchise. I don’t think it’s very likely, but crazier things have happened.”
The first future first round pick is likely referring to the Lakers’ 2017 or 2018 first round pick. It’s highly valued since it’s expected to be in the lottery though the 2017 pick will go to the Philadelphia 76ers if it falls out of the Top 3. The 2018 pick is unprotected.
Via RealGM Trade Checker, a trade of Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and a future pick for Jimmy Butler works under the NBA trade rules. The Lakers are likely giving up too much in this deal but the Bulls value Butler as their franchise player.
This trade can also happen after December 15 this year because Clarkson recently signed his contract extension with the Lakers.
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These NBA rumors is unlikely to happen, according to Alcaraz. But if the Bulls struggle early in the regular season, it’s also likely that the Chicago management start thinking of trading Butler and their other veterans.
Photo courtesy: @JimmyButler/Twitter