Jimmy Butler, one of the most sought-after players available on the trading block this summer, was reportedly close to giving Chicago Bulls’ front-office executives Gar Forman and Jim Paxson ‘the green light’ to trade him to the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this week before he decided to halt the deal after receiving a warning from several players on the Cavs’ roster.

The rumor

According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the 27-year old Butler was close to trading his way to the Cavaliers Tuesday afternoon but took the U-turn after being warned by several unnamed Cavs players of impending volatile situations in Cleveland.

CBS Chicago then reported that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving reached out to Butler through back channels to gauge his interest in joining the Cavs. There’s no telling if James and Irving are now convincing their fellow All-Star to back-off, but Cowley is now reporting that several Cavs players who had been prodding Butler to push for a trade since last week are now warning Butler to stay away.

“Butler wants to play for a championship and was ready to push general manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson to move him to Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon before the warning shots were fired,” per Cowley.

Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin was working on a potential blockbuster deal that would bring Butler on board. However, the plan hit the snag after owner Dan Gilbert decided not to renew Griffin’s contract, which will expire on June 30.

Cavs assistant GM Trent Redden also left the team, prompting the Cavs to begin their search for their next general manager. Chauncey Billups has emerged as the favorite to take the position. Then again, Griffin’s sudden firing has already put the Cavs in a very precarious situation heading into free-agency.

Breaking ‘the Three Alphas’

Cowley added that Butler doesn’t want to go elsewhere this summer, if it isn’t the Cavs. There are reports about the Boston Celtics’ interest in trading for the All-Star swingman, but the Bulls have maintained a high asking price for their star player. If Butler eventually stick with the Bulls, the Chicago Sun-Times analyst believes the next step for the GarPax is breakup “the Three Alphas’ with Rondo likely the odd-man out.

Rondo, who resurrected his career after putting up strong numbers towards final stretch of the regular-season and in two postseason games against the Celtics, can earn $13.3 million next season should the Bulls pick up the option for 2017-18 season.

Wade has already announced his decision to exercise his option to stay the Bulls, allowing him to pocket $23.8 million next year.

During their separate exit meetings with the Bulls executives, Wade and Bulls stressed that they had no problem playing with Rondo. However, they asked GarPax to provide them a proven scoring threat at the point guard spot because spacing was a big issue last year. So far, sources close to situation are reporting that Butler is lobbying for Rio Olympics teammate Kyle Lowry to join him in the Windy City.

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