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Despite Wolves’ push, Bulls hold back on trading Butler

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein and The Vertical’s Woj, the Minnesota Timberwolves tried pushing to trade for Jimmy Butler on Thursday throughout the draft, including after selecting rookie sensation Kris Dunn.

The Bulls were said to be high on Dunn, but ultimately rejected any and all trade scenarios with the Wolves, even after trading former MVP Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks.

Stein reported that the Bulls asking price for Butler was too high, including asking for guard Zach Lavine whom the Wolves were not interested in trading.

To make matters more confusing, General Manager Gar Foreman claims that there was never a trade in discussion and that the Bulls in fact were never trying to trade Butler.

Foreman who later found out Butler was in the same building as the Bulls Brass during the draft told ESPN that all of the talk was purely speculations:

Jimmy’s in and out of the building all the time when he’s in town. During the draft, we started getting some texts and saw something on TV that we were in heated talks with somebody. I don’t know what it was saying. We were in no talks with anybody. There was no discussion during the entire draft this evening as far as Jimmy Butler was concerned.

We have never made a call in regards to Jimmy Butler. We’ve talked about, we value Jimmy Butler, we’re very happy to have Jimmy Butler. We’ve got a phenomenal basketball player who was an All-Star and All-NBA defender, is still young. Obviously we’ve got him under contract long-term, those are all positive. He, again, is what we want to be. We’ve said this all along. We like Jimmy Butler, we did not shop Jimmy Butler. Did we receive calls? Of course we did, and that’s our job to listen to calls. We get calls on a lot of our players, and that’s stuff that happens all throughout the league.

I never talked to Tom during this whole process.

The Bulls will not admit it publicly, but if they were indeed discussions, the talks broke down late into the draft and Butler will remain with the keys in his hand after teammates Rose, Gasol, and Noah all find new homes next season.

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