Test the market is one thing — maybe some GM or owner would be willing to overpay and offer the Bulls a deal they can’t refuse (Boston and Orlando are rumored to be interested). It’s highly unlikely, but not impossible. However, if Bulls management is seriously thinking of moving him then they are fools — who are they going to build around, what’s left of Derrick Rose, 36-year-old (by next season) Pau Gasol, and Fred Hoiberg? That’s not a recipe for success. Bulls’ management knows Butler is the future, even if he is stumbling learning how to lead a team.
“That’s why I’m here,” Butler told ESPN.com after Thursday night’s 103-100 win over the Houston Rockets. “I don’t plan on going anywhere. I can’t control what everybody else does. I know that this is the city that I love, Chicago. And I want to wear that jersey. I want to wear that name on the front, and I wear it proudly. All I got to do is continue to control what I can control. That’s try to help this team win games.”
Next fall, Butler is still going to be a member of the Bulls, he is the young cornerstone they need to build around. The question is what the rest of the team around him will look like — expect some major roster shakeups.
Part of the reason for the trade rumors was the sense that Butler and Hoiberg did not get along. First, if the Bulls were going to pick between the two, are they going to take Hoiberg? Second, Hoiberg says there is no issue.
“I haven’t heard anything about [the report],” Hoiberg said before the game. “But again, I don’t read a lot right now. I think Jimmy and I have a really good relationship right now. I’ve been communicating a lot with him. Since he had the injury and has come back we’ve really limited his time. He hasn’t done much in shootaround just to try and save his legs for the game. I obviously think the world of him for how hard he pushes himself and how much he’s just improved his game over the years with his work ethic. I think that rubs off onto the other guys. So Jimmy absolutely is a very important part to this team.”
It’s going to be an interesting offseason in Chicago.