I don’t think there have ever been more words devoted to something that almost surely wasn’t going to happen as have been devoted to a potential Jimmy Butler trade.
On Monday, Stephen A. Smith reported (should I stop there?) that the Celtics want to use the third overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday to acquire the Bulls’ star. What ESPN’s “First Take’’ chatterer failed to understand is that it doesn’t matter what the Celtics want to do. It doesn’t matter if the Celtics want to re-engage in trade talks with the Bulls. It only matters what the Bulls want to do.
And aside from what they do in the bathroom and in the gym, the Bulls generally don’t want to do squat.
Barring a shocking development, Butler will be a Bull after the draft. So why do we in Chicago — we who should know better — keep beating this gasping horse? Like so many things these days, it has something to do with the Cubs. Everyone saw how Cubs president Theo Epstein tore down the franchise and built it into a World Series champion through high draft picks. Lots of people now think it’s the best way for teams to put together a winner.
Going young is the route the Bulls should be taking. Nothing they have done the past few years suggests they are close to building a winner or would know which elite free agents to sign to help them do it. So start over, right?
But nothing in the Bulls’ recent or distant history suggests they are willing to relieve themselves of one of the best players in the game to gather first-round picks. That’s the biggest obstacle to what many people in town seem to want. It appears to be the size of a decent-sized mountain.
Ah, but long-time Jerry Reinsdorf observers will point to the White Sox’ trade of star pitcher Chris Sale as proof that the chairman of both the Sox and the Bulls is no longer the mountain that can’t be moved. Perhaps, but in hindsight, it looks as if the Sox wanted to get rid of a uniform-shredding pain in their behind as…