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The Bulls’ front office could be more open to dealing Jimmy Butler

Danny Ainge will be ready to pounce if Chicago does.

NBA: Playoffs-Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls held their season-ending media availability today at the United Center. Their front office’s comments regarding Jimmy Butler’s future with the organization are of particular interest to Celtics fans, as the Celtics have been linked to Butler in trade talks for the better part of a year now.

Take a look at what Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson had to say today, courtesy of The Athletic’s Sean Highkin:

And from K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, including remarks from Bulls general manager Gar Forman:

It seems odd to stay that your team’s star player’s skill set is in direct opposition to that type of style you want with your roster. Between Paxson and Forman, Paxson has been the one executive who seemed more inclined to rebuild, and ultimately trade Butler, in the past.

Paxson’s role seems pronounced now as well, given this tidbit:

With Paxson having final say, he could then make the ultimate say as to whether the franchise deals Butler. There are many factors that go into that, particularly how this year’s draft lottery shakes out and whether Butler would be eligible for a Designated Player Exception is his next contract, but the Celtics and Danny Ainge will certainly be standing ready to act if Butler hits the trade market.

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