A report out of Chicago suggests that yet another Eastern Conference star, the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler, might be joining LeBron James’ ranks, and that one of James’ teammates might unexpectedly be on his way out: Kyrie Irving.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that multiple sources indicated that LeBron James, Irving, and other Cavaliers have been “reaching out to Butler directly and through back channels over the last five days to gauge his interest [in joining the Cavaliers] … 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.”
In February, Butler said Kyrie is his favorite player other than himself.
A tidbit later in the same article, titled “Sources in Cleveland say Jimmy Butler will push for trade to Cavs,” seems to imply that while Irving is recruiting Butler to Cleveland, he’s considering his own escape:
All-Star Kyrie Irving has been contacting some of his former Team USA teammates and letting them know that he might be willing to push for a trade, especially if he feels the Cavs’ run could end quickly with James able to opt out after next season.
While forcing one’s way off a team coming off three consecutive NBA Finals appearances sounds insane, owner Dan Gilbert’s dismissal of general manager David Griffin has troubled Cavs players, LeBron included.