***UPDATE*** As the 2017 NBA Draft got underway, the Bulls traded Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the 2017 No. 7 pick, shooting guard Zach LaVine and point guard Kris Dunn (Minnesota’s first round pick in last year’s draft).
The Denver Nuggets might want to get on the horn with a member of the orange and blue. They could be making Nuggets fans and one particular Denver Broncos wide receiver very happy.
A draft-day report broke from ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that the Nuggets had engaged the Bulls in talks about acquiring Bulls star guard Jimmy Butler.
Butler, in addition to being a top-20 scorer in the NBA, is close friends with Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
The deal, according to Goodman, would cost Denver a number of young players and picks – although budding superstar Nikola Jokic would not be a part of the deal.
Denver has spoken to the Bulls about Jimmy Butler, source told ESPN. Would include multiple young players, not… https://t.co/ZVJHHy6vOA
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 22, 2017
The Nuggets could package picks with Wilson Chandler, Gary Harris and Malik Beasley in a deal that would work under NBA guidelines. However, Jamal Murray would likely be a more desirable trade piece for Chicago than Harris and/or Beasley.
DT and Jimmy Butler are close friends, hosting one another at games over the years.
Jimmy Butler hangs out with Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas before the game against the Denver Nuggets. pic.twitter.com/LP1vkA73sU
— Chicago Sports News (@ChiSportUpdates) November 24, 2016
— Kyle Widder (@Kyle_Widder) September 9, 2016
They’ve actually even gone head to head in a little pickup football.
Jimmy Butler trying to cover Demaryius Thomas. ?
— go90 Zone (@go90Zone) May 29, 2017
Butler is a three-time All-Star and was named to the All-NBA third team in 2017. Importantly for the Nuggets, Butler is a lockdown defender. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive second team for three years straight (2014-16).
Butler may not be able to cover DT on the football field, but the Nuggets would be a vastly improved team with Butler on the floor.