Report: Jimmy Butler doesn’t fly with Bulls to New Orleans, still expected to play against Pelicans

AP Photo/Jeff Haynes
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Jimmy Butler has been stuck in controversy much of this season. Fred Hoiberg even named him as the beginning of the Bulls’ problems in a strange answer about his coaching style.

Is this another Butler thing?

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler did not fly with the team Sunday to New Orleans for its game Monday night, according to league sources.

One source with the Bulls said Butler had a family commitment and would fly to New Orleans later Sunday night and that he will play against the Pelicans.

“It’s the first time he hasn’t flown with the team,” one source said. “But he will play tomorrow for sure.”

This could be nothing. Players sometimes fly separately from their teammates to handle personal matters. As long as the player arrives in time for the game, it’s nothing.

But this isn’t a Chicago beat writer keeping fans updated on every tedious detail about the Bulls. This is a national writer who’s chasing the biggest stories in the league writing an article about Butler’s travel plans.The implication: There’s something to this.

Chicago has been eliminated from the playoff race, and it would be reasonable to sit Butler the final two games – especially if he needs offseason knee surgery (though he says he doesn’t). But this report says Butler will play, which would raise even more questions if he doesn’t now.

Again: Does the mere existence of Broussard’s report indicate there’s more to the story than its text reveals?