The Chicago Bulls were previously on the radar of one bona fide superstar before the front-office duo Gar Forman and John Paxson unknowingly put the team out of contention after dealing away Jimmy Butler to Minnesota Timberwolves during Thursday’s NBA Draft.

The decision to trade Butler was already a baffling move to start with, but the fact that it cost them a chance to pounce on All-Star guard Kyrie Irving made the deal even more mind-boggling.

GarPax killed Irving to Bulls scenario

Before Thursday’s draft, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported about Irving’s legit interest to join Butler in Chicago in the event LeBron James bolts out of Cleveland again next season.

With the Cavs organization on the brink of turmoil following the sudden exit of general manager David Griffin, Irving has been telling his Team USA teammates – including Butler – that he will force his way out of the team if things get out of hand. Through back channels, Irving made it known that Chicago tops his list of possible destinations.

“Irving has been contacting some of his former Team USA mates, letting them know that he might be willing to push for a trade, especially with the latest drama unfolding in Cleveland. Through back channels, Irving let it be known that he’d be interested in coming to Chicago,” per Cowley.

Unfortunately for Bulls fans, the hope of seeing Irving and Butler play in the same backcourt dashed away after the Bulls executive sent Butler and the no.16 pick (Justin Patton) to the Timberwolves in exchange for Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn and the no.7 pick (Lauri Markkanen of Arizona) in the draft.

With Butler gone, so is the chance of getting Irving because there’s no way the All-Star will play for a team in the initial phase of the rebuild.

Butler – the free-agent magnet is gone

The Bulls will not only miss all-around production from Jimmy Buckets (23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game), they also lost a free-agent magnet.

Butler, who played with other All-Stars in last year’s Rio Olympics, has also been lobbying free-agent point guard Kyle Lowry to join him Chicago before he got traded to the Wolves.

Apparently, Butler also played a big part in Dwyane Wade’s decision to return home in Chicago. Butler’s exit only means the Bulls are no longer an attractive free agency destination for the time being until they find a way to get back to relevancy with their roster of young players.

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