Bulls On Jimmy Butler Trade: ‘We Have To Explore All Options’
Jimmy Butler, the Chicago Bulls swingman, missed 15 games in the just-concluded regular season and failed to lead his team to a playoff berth. While Butler isn’t the sole reason for Chicago’s woes, his well-documented indifferences with coach Fred Hoiberg haven’t helped the team.Advertisement
With Butler and Hoiberg at loggerheads, and with Bulls management likely to side with the latter, there is a strong possibility that the all-star gets traded during the offseason. While these rumors have been floating around for a while, Bulls Vice President John Paxson all but confirmed them Wednesday. Butler signed a five-year max contract with the Bulls during the previous offseason.
Jimmy Butler: Uncertain future…
Paxon and GM Gar Forman were addressing an exit press conference when posed the difficult question about Butler’s future in the Windy City. “I would say, I think John (Paxon) made it pretty clear we’ve got to take a look at everything,” said Forman.
“We’ve got to explore all options and I don’t think there’s anything that’s off the table when you have a disappointing year like this. With that said, obviously Jimmy has had a fantastic year. From where he was to where he’s gotten to, he’s become a very, vey valuable player for us,” Forman said, adding fuel to the fire that Chicago was looking to retain Hoiberg and perhaps revamp the roster based on the coach’s preferences.
The Bulls front office also acknowledged that Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose weren’t “meshing together” on the court and the team was plagued by chemistry issues.
Butler raised eyebrows a few months ago when he publicly questioned how hard rookie coach Hoiberg was coaching the team, comments that resonated with both parties for the rest of the season. Ever since Butler made those comments, his own performance has taken a nosedive and the Bulls have struggled to notch up wins.
No. 3 seed to lottery team….
Earlier this month, Chris Mannix of the Vertical reported that Butler’s offseason trade was imminent. “I’ve been hearing rumbling that there is legitimate interest in Chicago in potentially dealing Jimmy Butler this offseason,” Mannix revealed, before citing chemistry issues as the primary reason for the Bulls going from a No.3 seed in the East to a lottery team within a year.
“Chemistry issues continue to plague the Bulls’ locker room, league sources told The Vertical. Grumblings range from Hoiberg’s inability to hold players accountable – a complaint registered publicly by Butler last December and one that lingers in the locker room today, a source said – to Butler’s shoddy shot selection to the disconnect within the team offensively,” wrote Mannix.
The Boston Celtics tried to make a run at Jimmy Butler prior to the February 18 deadline. Will they pursue Butler during the summer? Or will another team swoop in with a better offer? What kind of pieces will Bulls expect in return? One thing is for certain: Butler’s price tag would warrant at least a superstar or a high lottery pick.