Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: “I don’t think we have any beef or whatever”


After the Bulls had been eliminated from the playoffs, the rumors started: There was tension between stars Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler. There is only one basketball and they weren’t sharing it well, the stories went.

Since then, Butler has gone on record denying any issue.

That continued Wednesday. Butler — who got an invite to Team USA mini-camp in Las Vegas this summer — was on ESPN’s First Take this week and again denied that there was any tension between him and Rose.

“I think he’s always been supportive of me being aggressive, especially on offense,” Butler said … “We all know that I’ll be the aggressor on defense. So from what I can tell, the guy’s always been in my corner…

“The only reason that it came up is because we lost,” Butler said. “I don’t think we have any beef or whatever you want to call it. I think we just want to win. We didn’t win, so now [people say] we’re beefing, now we have a problem with each other, and I don’t think that’s the case.”

Butler has admitted in the past not everyone in the Bulls locker room has gotten along in recent years, but he said his issues were never with Rose.

If there was tension around touches and shots in Tom Thibodeau’s grind-it-out offense, then new coach Fred Hoiberg’s up-tempo, motion offense should help diffuse things. Everybody’s going to get touches if they hustle and move off the ball.

What would really help smooth over everything in Chicago? Winning. As in, be the team in the East that is the biggest threat to Cleveland winning. The Bulls on paper look like a team that can be a threat, but now they have to make that promise a reality.

Report: Aaron Brooks reaches one-year deal to remain with Bulls


He was a guy Tom Thibodeau trusted, now he’s going to have to earn the confidence of Fred Hoiberg.

He’ll get the chance because Aaron Brooks will be back with the Chicago Bulls, something first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN and now confirmed by Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com.

Brooks averaged 11.6 points and 3.2 assists in playing all 82 games for the Bulls last season, starting 21 games due to various injury absences. Brooks made the veteran’s minimum last season but he’ll earn more than that in 2015-16.

There was speculation the Bulls would go for a bigger guard who could possess the ability to play both guard spots as opposed to just one, but when the market dried up after a few targets signed above-average deals, it didn’t leave the luxury-tax paying Bulls with many options, and a return engagement with Brooks was an easy choice.

This gives the Bulls essentially the same backcourt as last season, with Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler (who re-signed with the team) as the starters and Brooks with Kirk Hinrich and Tony Snell behind them.

Overall the Bulls roster is largely the same as last year, they are simply counting on health and a more modern offense under Hoiberg to make them more serious challengers to Chicago.

Jimmy Butler on reported tension with Derrick Rose: “I don’t think we have any issues”


After signing a five-year, $95 million deal to stay with the Bulls, Jimmy Butler has a lot off his mind. His willingness to take the five-year deal after previous reports that he was looking for a shorter contract should put to rest the notion that he is going to have trouble playing with Derrick Rose, as has been reported since the Bulls were eliminated by the Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs. In a new interview with Rolling Stone‘s Seerat Sohi, Butler downplayed any tension with Rose:

I don’t think we have any issues. I think we’re fine. I think we’re two basketball players that want to win games. That’s where I’ll leave it at. I think we just wanna win, bring a championship the city, to the organization. I think that’s our job. And I think we’re gonna do whatever it takes to make that happen. I have a lot of respect for the guy.

Rose and Butler have never had issues before, so it’s hard to see why that would start now, especially after Butler got his big extension. Even if players aren’t the best of friends off the court, there’s no reason that would stop them from being able to play together. New Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg is installing a more dynamic, uptempo offense than the one that was previously employed by Tom Thibodeau, and that should allow both Rose and Butler to thrive.

Report: Jimmy Butler wants to sign with Lakers. Sounds like someone’s agent wants leverage.


There are two simple facts to consider with this story:

1) Jimmy Butler is a restricted free agent, and the Bulls can match any offer he signs with another team and retain him.

2) The Chicago Bulls are very, very high on Butler and want to keep him.

With that background, we pass the report that what Butler wants to do is play for the Lakers. Via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

Lastly, Chicago forward Jimmy Butler hopes to take his talents elsewhere and take advantage of the new television deal after his career year coincided with Tom Thibodeau’s firing and Derrick Rose’s chemistry issues. Although Butler wants to sign a one-year deal with the Lakers, according to a league source familiar with his thinking, the Bulls are expected to match any offer for the restricted free agent.

Two quick thoughts here. First, Butler does want to sign a shorter deal, not a five-year max contract, and the Lakers have been dropped as a team he is interested in before. Second, the Lakers cannot extend a one-year offer sheet. It’s part of the complexities of the salary cap, something the brilliant Mark Deeks breaks down here, if you want to read about it in detail. Just know it has to be at least a two-year offer from the Lakers.

This is an agent trying to use the Lakers to leverage the Bulls. There will be a lot of that this season, whether it is Dwyane Wade or a host of others, if an agent is looking to create leverage he’ll use the big market and wads of cash that the Lakers have to do it.

This is simply an effort to get the Bulls to offer Butler a shorter deal and not the five-year max, because like everyone Butler would love to tap into that television money that is about to start flowing into the NBA in 2016.

However, if Chicago does offer Butler a five-year max he will take it — everyone takes a max extension to his rookie contract (Greg Monroe was not offered that, according to the most reliable reports). That would be Butler’s first  huge contract, it is $90 million and that is “set your family up for generations” money. Players don’t walk away from that the first time it’s on the table. (LeBron James may leverage shorter deals now, but only after he got money in the bank off that first extension.)

If the Bulls offer the max, the Lakers would have to offer at least three years under the CBA, and the Bulls would just match that offer sheet if Butler signed it. If Butler really wanted out of Chicago, his only option would sign a one-year qualifying offer at $4.4 million and leave more than $85 million in guaranteed cash on the table, then he could be a free agent next summer. Not even the most deluded Lakers fan can picture that happening.

Butler is going to be a Bull next season. Nothing to see here, move along.

Bulls draft pick Bobby Portis apparently trashed Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol in old tweets


Larry Nance Jr. isn’t the only first-round pick in an awkward spot today thanks to an old tweet.

Bulls pick Bobby Portis apparently was a Heat fan in 2011 and didn’t have nice things to say about Derrick Rose and the Bulls. For good measure, Portis also criticized then-Laker Pau Gasol, who’s now with Chicago.

Tweet 1


Tweet 2

To his credit, Portis did the only thing he could. He apologized and tried to make amends:


I figure Rose and Gasol will let bygones be bygones – at least after a little hazing.

(hat tip: Aldo Soto of Sports Mockery)