Every day, Pick and Popovich will post one fake trade and explain why it makes sense for every team involved to make it. There are no parameters beyond fitting within the salary cap. Sometimes the trades will involve stars, others role players. They are not grounded in actual rumors, they just make sense on paper. During the 2016 NBA Playoffs, each week will feature seven fake trades of one star player. This is Jimmy Butler Week.
Chicago Bulls Receive: Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: Brooklyn Nets Receive:
Russell Westbrook Jimmy Butler Derrick Rose
Why Chicago would make this trade: It’s a one-year, all in chance to try to convince Russell Westbrook to spend the rest of his career in Chicago. It’s a big market with a history of winning, plus they’d be able to offer him a bigger contract, so if they manage the team correctly it’s not a bad gamble. Pairing him with Lopez is a fine foundation.
Why Oklahoma City would make this trade: They’d only do it if Kevin Durant leaves, but if he does, trading Westbrook is the logical follow up. He becomes a free agent next summer, but Butler is locked in for four more years. That kind of security would give Oklahoma City a real chance to build around him and hopefully fix the mistakes they made during the Durant era.
Why Brooklyn would make this trade: What do they have to lose? It’s a chance to get a former MVP still in his 20’s. Those draft picks are a sunk cost, potentially getting worse is meaningless to Brooklyn. But the upside of Rose? That could turn the entire franchise around if everything breaks right.