Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose trade: ‘It had to be one of us’

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There was a belief the Bulls had to trade Jimmy Butler or Derrick Rose.

Butler apparently subscribed to it.

Butler on the Derrick Rose trade, via ESPN:

I can’t say that I was surprised. But I knew that it had to be one of us, to tell you the truth.

I was never convinced Chicago had to move one or the other. Yes, Butler and Rose clearly didn’t ideally complements each other on the court. Yes, there were signs of discord off the court.

But it wouldn’t have been worth selling low on Butler, a legitimate two-way star, or surrendering a positive asset to dump Rose. They play different positions, and Rose’s contract was expiring after this season. Even if the odds were against them meshing, I just didn’t see the urgency.

The Knicks offering a more valuable player than Rose (Robin Lopez) plus Jerian Grant made it an easier call. But there’s a big difference between having to trade a player and accepting a favorable deal that became available.

So, why did Butler think the Bulls had to trade him or Rose, a player Butler effusively praised on the way out the door?

Tracy McGrady asked that important follow-up question. Butler’s response:

I have no idea.