Lakers Rumors: Jimmy Butler Would Be Perfect Addition for LA’s Rebuild

The Los Angeles Lakers need to find young, impact stars to pull themselves out of the throes of misery. They are looking at a top-five pick in the NBA draft, but free agency could also be eventful with Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler on the radar.

According to Shams Charania of RealGM, the Lakers are one of many teams expected to pursue Butler as he enters restricted free agency this summer:

Outside of Chicago, teams are already preparing possible maximum-salary offer sheets for Butler in free agency, including the Los Angeles Lakers as one of several expected suitors, league sources told RealGM. Even Butler’s college area connection, the Milwaukee Bucks, will have cap space in July. Around the league, there’s a question: How will Chicago handle the inevitable max out of a star player not named Rose?

Butler's free agency is going to be a fascinating story to follow this offseason. He has gone from being a solid role player in his first three years to a legitimate star this season, and at 25 years old there's no reason to think this trend will slow down.

The question is whether the Bulls believe Butler to be that important to their future, which may not be an easy thing to answer, given Derrick Rose's history of knee injuries. Charania did note in his report that Butler has made it clear he wants to stay in Chicago and the team "will assuredly match anything" that gets offered.

In the event that the Bulls happen to let Butler walk this summer, the Lakers are the one team that should pursue him as hard as anyone, if not more so.

Ignoring Butler's offensive contributions for a minute, he's a tremendous defensive asset. Per, the fourth-year standout ranked 17th among all shooting guards with a defensive real plus-minus rating of 0.69.

Here's what he did in the first half of Game 3 in the Bulls' series against Cleveland when matched up against LeBron Ja...

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