Superstar Jimmy Butler informed the Cleveland Cavaliers that he prefers to stay with the Chicago Bulls rather than join LeBron James and company via trade. According to David Aldridge of TNT, Butler told the Cavaliers that he plans to stay with the Bulls and help the team win the championship rather than be traded to Cleveland. The development came after the Chicago Sun-Times reported that several Cavs players warned Butler to stay away from the team after Cleveland team owner Dan Gilbert ousted general manager David Griffin.

The Chicago Sun-Times also reported that Butler is also not interested in a trade to the Boston Celtics.

In the past few days, Butler’s name has been linked to the Celtics and the Cavaliers. Before the Cavaliers announced that they will not keep him as general manager, Griffin was reportedly deep into negotiations with the Bulls involving Butler.

No truth to Cavs’ players telling Butler to stay away

Sam Amico of Amico Sports said there was no truth to the reports that some Cavs players warned Butler to stay away from Cleveland. Amico said a team source described the report as an “absolute fabrication”. There were reports that James was surprised and disappointed about Gilbert’s decision not to give Griffin a contract extension. Griffin was instrumental in assembling the team that gave the Cavs their first NBA title.

Reports about James possibly leaving the Cavs in 2018 and joining the Los Angeles Lakers also swirled around, prompting Kyrie Irving to tell his Team USA teammates that he will ask for a trade if that happens. Irving also expressed interest in joining the Bulls.

Aside from Butler, the Cavaliers are also interested in acquiring Paul George from the Indiana Pacers.

However, all trade plans have been stalled following the ousting of Griffin, whose contract with the Cavs will expire on June 30.

Butler to ask Kyle Lowry to move to Bulls

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Butler plans to convince point guard Kyle Lowry to join him with the Bulls. Lowry and Butler are familiar with each other’s play as they both saw action for Team USA last summer.

Lowry plans to opt out of the final year of his four-year, $48 million deal with the Raptors to test the free-agent market. However, if he stays with the Raptors, he can ask for a maximum five-year contract worth in excess of $200 million due to his status as a 10-year veteran. Lowry averaged 22.4 points in 60 regular-season games but struggled in the playoffs, averaging just 15.8 points in eight games.

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