Bulls

OMG, apparently the entire NBA wants to trade for Jimmy Butler

OMG, apparently the entire NBA wants to trade for Jimmy Butler

Apparently everyone in the NBA wants to trade for Jimmy Butler.

The Bulls' All-Star forward was the subject of a pair of Twitter reports on Monday afternoon, rumored to be drawing the interest of both the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Minnesota, of course, is the home of Tom Thibodeau, the former Bulls head coach who is now running the Timberwolves. Butler spent the first four seasons of his career playing for Thibodeau, who famously turned him into the new Luol Deng by playing Butler 38.7 minutes a game in each of Thibodeau's final two seasons in Chicago.

Minnesota certainly has a lot to offer, boasting the No. 7 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, as well as young star Zach LaVine, who is recovering from season-ending ACL surgery. The Bulls were reportedly high on Kris Dunn, who the Timberwolves selected fifth overall in last year's draft.

Cleveland, meanwhile, lost the NBA Finals last week, finishing runner-up to the Golden State Warriors for the second time in the past three seasons. LeBron James & Co. are already a super team of sorts — despite the King's post-Finals answer — with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in town.

Any hypothetical trade of Butler to Cleveland would mean Butler heading to one of the Bulls' Central Division rivals, which obviously wouldn't be ideal considering Butler's status of one of the league's better players.

But there are other teams in the race for Butler, too, including the Boston Celtics — long rumored as a Butler suitor — and the Phoenix Suns, according to CSN's Vincent Goodwill.

It's obvious that if the Bulls are selling that a ton of teams would be interested. Butler has made the Eastern Conference All-Star Team in each of the past three seasons, he was named the league's Most Improved Player in 2014-15, and he was named to the All-NBA Third Team this past season.

Seven years ago today LeBron James slammed the Bulls' championship window shut

lebronheat.png
AP

Seven years ago today LeBron James slammed the Bulls' championship window shut

The Bulls couldn't have known it at the time, but when LeBron James blocked a Derrick Rose 3-point attempt in the final seconds of Game 5 in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, it was the closest those Bulls would ever get to the promised land.

It happened on May 26, 2011, seven long, long, long years ago today.

The game was an ugly one and certainly a fourth quarter the Bulls would love to have back. They took a 12-point lead on a Ronnie Brewer 3-pointer with 3:53 remaining. The Heat closed the game on a 19-4 run, with James' emphatic block on Rose the lasting image of the series.

James finished with a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds, and added six assists, three steals and two blocks in 46 minutes.

Rose went just 9-for-29, finishing the series shooting 35 percent from the field after being named league MVP over James.

It's probably unfair to say James and James alone shut the Bulls' championship window. Rose's ACL tear the following postseason realistically was the biggest culprit. But these Bulls had won 62 games, had homecourt advantage, had the MVP, the Coach of the Year and all the momentum. And still they couldn't get it done against James.

That win also sent James to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007. He's been there every year since, though that could change as he faces the Celtics on Sunday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Anyone who lived through the Michael Jordan Bulls remembers those games when he was putting up tons of points, but the Bulls were still struggling overall.

Steve Kerr referenced one of those games to give advice to Kevin Durant during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The TNT broadcast caught the conversation and aired it late in the third quarter.

"When MJ was with the Bulls, we had a playoff game," Kerr began the story. "He kept trying to score and he was scoring, but we weren't getting anything going. Phil Jackson said 'Who's open?' He said, 'John Paxson.'"

Paxson scored 10 of 12 points for the Bulls during a fourth quarter run in Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals, the series clincher, and famously hit the game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals to clinch that series. Kerr, who later hit his own championship-winning shot on an assist from Jordan in 1997, was trying to get to get his teammates involved.

"I want to trust your teammates early," Kerr said. "What you're doing is you're getting to the rim and then you're trying to hit him. I want you to trust the first guy and then move. Still attack, still look to score, but trust these guys, OK?"

Watch the video above to see the interaction.

Durant scored 29 points in Game 5 to lead the Warriors, but Houston took a 3-2 series lead with a 98-94 win.