The Chicago Bulls are exploring a potential deal involving star player Jimmy Butler, per K.C Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. In a press conference last Wednesday, Chicago's top decision-makers Gar Forman and John Paxson tackled several topics related to their off-season plan, including moves that could change the shape of the franchise next season.

Butler trade

Paxson confirmed that Butler and Dwyane Wade are scheduled for a meeting with the Bulls’ top officials within the next few weeks to discuss their future with the team. The 27-year-old Butler is under contract for three more seasons at $16M to $17M per year, with a player option for the 2019/20 season, while the 35-year old Wade has a player option for the 2017/18 season ($23M).

Paxson stressed that the Bulls' front office doesn’t intend to disrespect Butler and discredit his contribution to the team despite exploring options on the trade market. As far as Butler’s status in the Bulls’ locker room is concerned, the executive believes he’s far and away the best player on the team.

Barry Johnson of the Miami Herald believes the outcome of the meeting between Butler and the Bulls' management will have big impact on Wade’s decision this offseason. Should the Bulls trade away Butler for assets and cap flexibility, Wade is expected to opt out of his contract and test the free agency market once again. He added that the Miami Heat could become a viable option for the former NBA Finals MVP, but only under the right conditions.

Rondo and Mirotic deal

Paxson also discussed the future of point guard Rajon Rondo and stretch-forward Nikola Mirotic. Apparently, the Bulls' president was impressed by Rondo’s late season charge and strong performance in the first two games of their series against the Boston Celtics. Paxson even said there’s a really good chance that the Bulls will pick up $10M of Rondo’s $13M salary for next season.

As for Mirotic, Paxson is high on retaining the sharp shooting big man, who also expressed his desire to stay in the Windy City. Mirotic, who averaged 10.2 points on 41.3 percent shooting from the field, is eligible to accept an offer sheet from any team this off-season, though the Bulls have the ability to match.

Dan Favale of Bleacher Report projected the Bulls’ starting cap space at $15M, but that figure could balloon to as much as $40 million if Wade bolts. However, Paxson hinted that the Bulls are unlikely to make a huge free agency splash this summer, as they look to maintain flexibility for the 2018 season and beyond.

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