Jimmy Butler reiterates he wants to stay with Bulls


Does Chicago Bulls management want to build a future contender around Jimmy Butler, or do they want to move on from him and start over? Is the entire front office even on the same page about this? It’s hard to tell when last summer we heard about the plans to keep and build around Butler after the Derrick Rose trade, then they made stopgap moves to bring in Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo (but not enough shooting).

Will Butler be a Bull at the start of next season?

This much we know: He’d like to be. From an interview with ESPN where he as asked directly, “Do you hope to finish your career with the Bulls?”

“Yes. I can’t see what tomorrow will bring, but I love it here. You know, they took a risk on a kid that was not very good with the 30th pick in the 2011 draft, so I feel like I owe the city the little amount of talent that I have on that basketball court. I love it here. I love these people. I want to be here.”

Butler has said this before. He would join a long list of elite players who said this only to leave via trade or free agency (Butler is under contract for three seasons after this, so he would need to be traded).

The Bulls have at least listened to offers for Butler since at least last summer, but have yet to see an offer that would bring them back close to what they are sending out — a top 15 player who can impact the game at both ends. It would take a front-line player and an impressive pick just to get the conversation started, and there are limited teams which could make that kind of offer.

The thing is, the Bulls have done an odd job of building around Butler, or building a team with the shooting to play the system coach Fred Hoiberg was brought in to run.

Dwyane Wade is right, the questions about the Bulls’ direction need to be answered by the front office. But it’s not likely we will get good answers or see a change there either.