Jimmy Butler trade presents more questions for futures of Nikola Mirotic, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo

Jimmy Butler trade presents more questions for futures of Nikola Mirotic, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo

Lauri Markkanenn will be a Chicago Bull once the trade between the Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves is finalized sometime Friday when the trade call is sent to the NBA, as he’s the first domino to fall in what could be an interesting offseason to come.

A stretch-shooting big man from Arizona who shot 42 percent from 3 last season, Markkanenn is a native of Finland who’s more of an offensive threat rather than a defender and rebounder at seven-feet tall. He averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds for Arizona and has been regarded by many scouts as the best shooter in the draft.

With the Bulls bringing up the rear in that category, one assumes he’ll add a level of versatility if he can see the floor—which brings the Bulls to some offseason decisions they’ll have to make once free agency begins and even before. Markkanenn conceivably brings Nikola Mirotic’s future into question, as Mirotic is a restricted free agent this summer and Mirotic was on the trade block by the Bulls for the better part of last season as he had an underwhelming year trying to fill the role of a stretch-shooting big man.

But officials with the Bulls say Mirotic is still a priority for the Bulls and because he’s restricted, they control the process of his free agency. Mirotic shot 41.3 percent and averaged 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds, as the Bulls still consider him an asset for the present and future as they’ll play a new style of basketball next season.

One would think Mirotic will command a salary at least around $10 million as the NBA’s salary cap will balloon to $99 million with a luxury tax line of around $119 million.

Rajon Rondo’s future has yet to be decided, as the Bulls acquired a point guard in Kris Dunn they’ve long eyed and presumably one they feel will be their future at the position.

Bulls officials stated they’ll wait until next week before making a decision on Rondo, but one wonders if they’ll go full youth movement, especially with wanting Dunn to succeed after a rocky rookie year in Minnesota and already having Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne under contract for next season.

Rondo has a $3 million buyout the Bulls can exercise that will make Rondo a free agent or they’ll pay Rondo $13.3 million next season.

[MORE: After trading Jimmy Butler, Bulls select Lauri Markkanen] 

And then there’s Dwyane Wade, who opted in to his deal of $23.8 million for next season. Wade came to Chicago for a number of reasons, notably the salary and chance to play with Butler. With Butler gone and the Bulls changing their direction of the franchise, one wonders how Wade sees himself next season and how the Bulls see Wade with their young players.

Unless Wade wants out, the Bulls are headed into the free agency period thinking he’ll be back next season, and considering the Bulls have to spend up to 90 percent of their salary cap, his money helps them keep their books afloat, even as Butler’s affordable max salary exits and the controlled rookie-scale salaries of LaVine, Dunn and Merkkanenn enter Chicago for a future unknown

Bulls Talk Podcast: Would Bulls have swept Celtics if Rondo was healthy?

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Bulls Talk Podcast: Would Bulls have swept Celtics if Rondo was healthy?

On the latest edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill and Kevin Anderson discuss Rajon Rondo’s comments on TNT that the Bulls would have swept the Celtics if he would have stayed healthy. They also discuss what to expect from the Bulls next year if Rondo returns.

Also, Vincent Goodwill joins Mark to preview the draft combine this week in Chicago and what the Bulls should look for with the 16th overall pick.

And Mark, Kendall and Kevin also discuss LeBron James’ dominance and if either the Celtics or Wizards have a chance in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Take a listen below:

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Cubs re-sign Jake Arrieta in Winter?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Cubs re-sign Jake Arrieta in Winter?

Mark Lazerus (Chicago Sun-Times), Chris Hine (Chicago Tribune) and Jordan Bernfield join Kap on the panel. Jake Arrieta gets roughed up in Colorado. Right now, do you want the Cubs to re-sign him in the winter? 

Meanwhile, Rick Hahn says he’s open to making trades with the Cubs. Could it happen?

Vincent Goodwill drops by to talk Rajon Rondo predictions and Dwyane Wade vs Scottie Pippen. Finally, Scott Paddock talks NASCAR and “The Big One” at Talladega.

Listen to the SportsTalk Live Podcast below.