Dec 2, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT
The Chicago Bulls need a wing player to create shots and take some scoring burden off Derrick Rose. The Los Angeles Clippers need a wing player to fill out a roster with Eric Gordon at the guard spot and Blake Griffin in the paint.
Butler’s preferred destinations are the Clippers or Bulls, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
Butler is most attracted to the Bulls because of the chance to play with Derrick Rose and compete for a title, but he would have to take significantly less money to play in Chicago. The Bulls have a stronger need for a shooting guard and could ultimately spend their money there. Ultimately, that leaves the Clippers with an edge over the New Jersey Nets among the suitors with the most significant cap space and a need for a starting small forward.
“He sees the Clippers with a more stable foundation of players,” one source familiar with Butler’s thinking said. “He isn’t sure about Deron Williams’ future in New Jersey, and having a chance to win will be a big part of this.”
A lot of players are not sold on New Jersey yet (including Deron Williams, apparently). For the record Butler is working out in Chicago while waiting to see where he lands.
The Clippers really like the idea of Prince as he is a three who can both score and defend, would not take shots away from Gordon and Griffin but would be efficient with the ones he does.
Any move would likely be a sign-and-trade that would send center Chris Kaman to Detroit, reports the Detroit News. Kaman is a Michigan native and is a $12 million expiring contract. Plus, Kaman at the five moves Greg Monroe over to the four, which may be a better spot for him. The Clippers want to turn the center spot over to DeAndre Jordan, who they need to re-sign as a free agent.
Look for the Clippers to land one of these two. The Bulls really need a two guard and Butler is really a three who could fill the role if healthy. There just are not a lot of good options on the market right now, so the Bulls may push.
In the end, however, it comes down to who can pay. And right now (before things like Blake Griffin’s extension kicks in) the Clippers can afford to pay.