North: Bulls must get more for Butler than prospects

Posted2/17/2017 5:19 AM
  • Jerry Reinsdorf approved the trade of White Sox ace Chris Sale. Will he approve a trade of Bulls star Jimmy Butler?

    Jerry Reinsdorf approved the trade of White Sox ace Chris Sale. Will he approve a trade of Bulls star Jimmy Butler? Associated Press/2016 file

First it was ace pitcher Chris Sale getting traded from the Chicago White Sox for prospects, and now there is talk Jimmy Butler might be traded by the Bulls.

While the pertinent word for the Bulls is "rebuild," I'd like them to keep Butler because he is their best player, just as Sale was for the White Sox.

It's very possible Butler will stay with the Bulls, but if he is traded they better get more for him than the Sox acquired for Sale.

I had White Sox broadcaster Ken "Hawk" Harrelson on my "Sticks and Stones" podcast this week, and I asked him if he thought it was acceptable that the White Sox didn't get one live major league player in the Sale trade or whether the four prospects were sufficient.

While Hawk agreed it would have been nice to get an active big leaguer, he wasn't emphatic about it.

The situations were disturbing to me because both Sale and Butler are homegrown guys drafted by Jerry Reinsdorf-run organizations, and I just don't like losing that type of player. I am saying Reinsdorf-run organizations because the Sox and Bulls, both owned by Reinsdorf, are run philosophically the same.

Sale, however, represents a once-in-a-lifetime pitcher while Butler is a legitimate star but not a superstar!

I guess if the Bulls can get some solid pieces for Butler, then why not? But they can't go the road of just prospects -- the Bulls need real NBA bodies.

Playoff talk is somewhat of a moot point because as long as the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James are around, the Bulls won't get out of their own conference.

With that in mind, the timing is right for a rebuild and Bulls vice-president John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman will be wielding their magic once again.

I believe Pax is a very good judge of talent because he drafted Butler, and he always has been a pretty good personnel guy.

It's the coaching change, however, that continues to undermine this team.

Former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau isn't setting the world on fire with the Minnesota Timberwolves (22-35), but he will eventually get it done with a young Timberwolves roster that includes Andrew Wiggins. Thibs certainly had the Bulls' number this year, beating them Sunday night 117-89 to sweep the series. You have to think Thibs happily crossed off those wins on his calendar.

We'll just have to see how the season plays out. If the Bulls trade Butler, fans will have to deal with it, just as White Sox fans will have deal with the loss of Sale.

I find it interesting that both teams have one big thing in common: Jerry Reinsdorf!

• Follow Mike on Twitter @north2north. Check out his podcast Monday-Friday at, iTunes or audioboom. His column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald. For more, visit

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