Jimmy Butler just signed a contract extension with the Chicago Bulls and will be wearing red and black for at least four more seasons. Derrick Rose is under contract with Chicago for at least two more seasons.
So while there are plenty of reports of tension between the two guards — which Butler has denied but may have spilled over into the playoffs last year — Butler took a pretty logical approach to it speaking on a Chicago radio show, as transcribed by ESPN.
Both of them are going to be there, so they better figure it out.
“I think we can,” Butler said Wednesday on “The Waddle and Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000, when asked about his chemistry with Rose. “I think we will. And I think we better, because the way I look at it, I don’t think either one of us is going anywhere anytime soon.”
Specifically how do you solve the concerns? Win. This is America and here that cures all ills.
“We didn’t win,” Butler said. “That’s it. When you don’t win, somebody’s got to find something to blame it on….
“Whenever we win, all of this is going right out the window,” Butler said. “Whenever we start winning at the beginning of the season when we’re going through everything, it’s not an issue.”
Last season when Butler and Rose were on the court together, the Bulls were 2.9 points per 100 possessions better than their opponents, which is pretty close to the team’s +3.3 for the season. The Bulls offense was a little better than averaged with the two guards paired, but the defense a little worse.
The question is how both will buy into and execute new coach Fred Hoiberg’s more modern NBA offense next season, one with plenty of ball screens and off-the-ball action (ala Golden State). The offense isn’t going to be as straight ahead like what Tom Thibodeau ran.
Butler is spot on about the big picture — both of these guys are going to be Bulls for a while. If they want to win, they had better get along. The Bulls are one of the second tier of teams in the East that can rise up and try to challenge Cleveland, but they need to get their own house in order first.
That starts with Rose and Butler being on the same page.