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NBA trade rumor: Asking price for Jimmy Butler would be high

The Bulls start the public negotiations early.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls are likely to look to shake up their roster this offseason. They have a lot of pieces that don't fit anymore and some pieces that could be leaving via free agency anyway. So, many have opined that Chicago might also consider putting star Jimmy Bulter on the block to jump-start a full rebuild process.

We don't know how much of this is truth and how much is negotiation spin, but the early word out of Chicago is that the price would be pretty steep for Butler.

Celtics like Butler, but Bulls not making him easy to acquire |

A league source tells that the Bulls, while still open to listening to offers for Butler, are telling teams that are inquiring about his availability that their plan for now is to keep him in the fold. And while there was some thought that a top-3 pick coupled with a few decent players might be enough to entice the Bulls to pull the trigger on a deal to trade Butler, has been told such an offer would have to include at least one "legitimate, NBA starter" for the Bulls to even possibly consider trading him. "And that might be a stretch," the source indicated.

Call me crazy, but I'm not blinking at that price, though a lot depends on where the pick lands. The No. 3 pick is different in this draft from the No. 1 or No. 2 pick (at least from a value perspective - who knows how it shakes out 2-3 years from now?).

Ainge hopeful as Celtics head into offseason - Sports - - Providence, RI

"So much depends on the ping-pong balls and where we are. By May 17, we’ll probably know a lot more."

So hypothetically, would you trade the No. 3 pick, Avery Bradley (who plays Butler's position anyway), and perhaps some additional draft pick sweetener to get the deal done?

Getting the No. 1 or No. 2 pick changes that equation, at least from the Celtics' perspective. If the Bulls want a starter like Bradley or Crowder plus a top-2 pick, that's probably too steep a price.

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