No stranger to organizational dysfunction, Jimmy Butler was warned Tuesday night to stay away from the Cavaliers.
According to a Cleveland source close to the situation, several of the Cavaliers who had been prodding Butler to push for a trade from the Bulls the last five days were now warning him to stay away from a suddenly volatile situation.
With the ouster of Cavaliers general manager David Griffin on Monday, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love could be headed for an unforeseen early breakup.
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.
That doesn’t mean Butler is done being a chess piece, however.
With Cleveland off the radar, there are no other places that Butler wants to be moved to, including Boston.
Then again, Gar/Pax have made it hard for other teams to acquire Butler. The price for the All-NBA third-team player remains astronomical.
It’s no coincidence that as Butler was hearing from Cleveland players while vacationing in Europe, news broke that Butler’s teammate — and good friend — Dwyane Wade informed the Bulls that he was exercising his $23.8 million option to return to his hometown team for next season.
Wade also is close to James, so he likely knew about how upset James has been after Griffin was let go by Cleveland ownership.
The next move for the Bulls’ version of Batman and Robin is the breakup of the “Three Alphas.’’
A Bulls source told the Sun-Times that the message coming out of the meetings with Butler and Wade was that the “Three Alphas’’ storyline has gotten old already.
Butler and Wade personally have no problem with Rajon Rondo, but they’d like a proven outside threat at point guard to open up the court.
Butler has been in the ear of free-agent point guard Kyle Lowry about coming to Chicago after they played on Team USA last summer, and now there’s a new name in the mix.
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.
Clearly the asking price for Irving would be too rich for the Bulls, so a third team would have to be brought into the mix.
“Jimmy wants to win, period,’’ a source said. “Whatever it takes to get that done.’’
Butler could not be reached for comment, and the Bulls’ front office doesn’t “comment on rumors.’’
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