Free agency doesn’t kick off until 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, but it’s worth noting that this offseason has already been a circus. The Pacers and Hawks move their starting point guards, the Bulls sent their franchise player to the Knicks, and the Thunder traded Serge Ibaka. It’s been a wild week, and it’s only about to get wilder.
For Jimmy Butler though, it’s been a week of reflection. There’s been rampant speculation that Chicago is considering blowing up their team in a rebuilding effort, and for weeks, trade rumors involving both Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler flew back and forth like subway trains. When Rose was eventually the one shipped, Butler publicly stated his appreciation for his former mentor, but when he sat down with ESPN’s The Jump, he was a little more transparent about the circumstances.
I can’t say I was surprised, but I knew it had to be one of us, to tell you the truth. Obviously, I enjoyed playing with him. I came into the league when he was the MVP. I got so much respect for the guy. I have no bad things to say about him, and I wish him the best moving forward.
“I knew it had to be one of us, to tell you the truth.” It’s a bit of a cryptic statement, and it’s unclear whether or not he’s speaking for himself, or from the front office’s point of view. Either way, he’s merely expressing what people around the league already felt. Butler and Rose could no longer co-exist in Chicago, and now they won’t have to.