It sounds like it’s going to be another offseason filled with Jimmy Butler rumors for the Chicago Bulls.
In the team’s post-season press conference featuring John Paxson and Gar Forman, the front office didn’t seem to confident about committing to Butler.
When asked about Butler, Paxson wouldn’t commit to the 27-year-old who averaged 23.9 points per game for the Bulls this season.
And it sounds like they might be listening to offers. Again.
“We have those discussions all the time,” Paxson said via the Chicago Tribune when asked about a full rebuild. “But the opportunity has to be right. To say to just blow it up, for example: If we don’t get something in return that puts us in a position to really move forward, you can’t do that.
The Bulls likely aren’t going to try and attempt a full rebuild, but instead proceed with caution. If there is an opportunity to trade Jimmy for the right price, they might do it.
“The Jimmy component, we’ve talked about. Ideally, in the system Fred wants to run, we need to play with pace and push. Jimmy’s a different player than some of these other guys. He has the ball in his hands a lot. Honestly, there was a stretch of games late in the year where he had some big assist games. We understand that. We know his value. But to say just blow it up when you don’t have some certainty that this is really you taking a major step positively in terms of young players you have, that’s a tough one to do. It’s easy to say it. It’s tough to do it.”
Beat writer K.C. Johnson sent out this tweet following the press conference:
My takeaway: Bulls won't trade Butler just to say "let's rebuild" but absolutely would do full rebuild if right offer for Butler came.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) May 3, 2017
The thing that stands out about that quote is Paxson pointing out that Butler doesn’t fit into the system of Hoiberg.
There’s been rumblings that Butler is unhappy with the Bulls FO and rightfully so. Chicago has the chance to build around a star player but instead took the route of adding veterans and failing to grab impact players.
While the team plans on bringing back Rajon Rondo as a veteran, there are still many holes to fill. It appears as if they will try, once again, to get younger and bring in more talent.
But if the track record has shown us anything, they will probably fail. Again.