Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (h/t Sean Highkin of The Atlantic) reported on his NBA draft show that the Bulls are "seriously engaged" with Minnesota on trade talks, stating Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn and picks are involved in the discussion.
On Monday, Wojnarowski reported the Wolves made first contact with Chicago to declare their interest in the 27-year-old three-time All-Star selection.
Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago reported Tuesday the Bulls were "actively shopping" Butler heading into the draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets were listed among the potential landing spots.
The high level of interest comes as no surprise. The Texas native averaged 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.9 steals for the Bulls during the 2016-17 campaign. His Player Efficiency Rating ranked 14th in the NBA among all qualified players.
In turn, Minnesota would likely need to sweeten its offer beyond the No. 7 pick in the draft in order to seriously engage Chicago in trade discussions.
The top two small forwards in this year's class, Kansas' Josh Jackson and Duke's Jayson Tatum, will likely come off the board inside the top five Thursday evening. And it's an otherwise mundane prospect group at the position.
That said, joining the Timberwolves would be a nice fit for Butler if a deal could get worked out.
It would reunite him with head coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached the Bulls during the star's first four NBA seasons. The Marquette product transformed from a little-used reserve into one of the league's best players during that span.
Minnesota also features a highly intriguing roster led by the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Adding Butler could allow the team to turn the corner toward serious competitiveness in the Western Conference playoff picture.