We are just about two hours away from the start of the 2016 NBA Draft, but teams around the NBA are already busy trying to make moves.
While everyone is frantically trying to predict how the draft might unfold this evening, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly set to take Brandon Ingram with the No. 2 pick, barring a last-second blockbuster trade offer.
According to Gery Woelfl of the Racine Journal Times, that offer might be on the table for Los Angeles, in the form of Jimmy Butler. The Chicago Bulls traded away Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, and it appears they might not be finished dealing (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll).
You’d think the Chicago Bulls are done wheelin’ and dealin’ after trading Rose. But maybe not. With Rose already gone and Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah ready to relocate during free agency next month, the Bulls could be in a full-fledged rebuilding mode. And that’s why some NBA officials contend Bulls star Jimmy Butler could be on his way out of the Windy City as well. Some believe the Bulls are quite intrigued about possibly obtaining the Lakers’ No. 2 pick for Butler.
This would be quite the dilemma for the Lakers if the offer is actually on the table. Roll the dice on the 18-year-old with tremendous upside on a team-friendly contract, or take the established star talent on the wing who just signed a max contract last summer?
Keep in mind, Butler’s max contract will no longer really be a max deal once the salary cap rises this summer to a projected $94 million, and a possible $110 million next summer. His contract would become team-friendly as well, though obviously still more expensive than a rookie contract.
Ingram comes with a ton of upside, but with any prospect, there’s always the risk of them not panning out. There are pros and cons to each route, but both could result in a massive reward for the Lakers.
The odds still seem unlikely that the Bulls would trade Butler for the pick straight across, and the Lakers probably would not want to give up another member of their young foundation.
This year’s draft seems poised to have a ton of activity on the trade front. Will the Lakers get involved? We are just a few short hours away from finding out.