The Cleveland Cavaliers seem to have an idea as to how they can fight back after the Golden State Warriors added Kevin Durant—by swinging a trade with the Chicago Bulls for Jimmy Butler.
No joke here. The Cavaliers want to add a top-15 player of their own alongside LeBron James for what would be a fourth consecutive Finals bout with the Warriors.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Cavaliers will try to weave in a third team:
It’s believed that the Cavaliers, by offering All-Star forward Kevin Love, could recruit a third team that would supply the sort of young players and/or draft picks sure to be more appealing to Chicago than the limited trade assets on Cleveland’s roster.
Various sources followed up on Twitter with news and reaction:
The Bulls don’t have much of a reason to actually gift Butler to the Cavaliers unless they want to fully blow up the roster. Such a move doesn’t make sense because the team can offer him a “super max” deal in the summer of 2018 worth $205 million, which no other team could do. Unless he’s already told them he’s leaving, Butler’s going to take the extra money.
And if the plan is to blow up the roster and rebuild, adding Kevin Love doesn’t exactly help.
Cleveland is smart to try, though. Butler isn’t just an offensive machine—he’s one of the best two-way players in the league and his strong defense would give Durant some problems while freeing LeBron to do what he does on the offensive end.
The Bulls just have to play along.