Soak up the last two months of watching Jimmy Butler in a Bulls uniform, because it’s likely he won’t be on the opening day roster come next season.
Ok that might be jumping to conclusions, but after Thursday’s events it certainly seems like that’s the case.
That’s one of, if not the biggest takeaway from Thursday night’s presser from John Paxson and Gar Forman following their confusing, dumbfounding, deadline deal. In yet another opportunity for management to come out and proclaim Butler as the face of the franchise moving forward, they were reluctant. Instead, pretty much saying when the right deal comes along, Butler’s gone, as what almost happened Thursday afternoon.
Via the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson:
“Right now, Jimmy is on our roster. And Jimmy is under contract for two more years. He is a terrific player. This league is fluid. And things can change quickly. We have such great respect for Jimmy and his value in this league is extremely high. If people think there’s an opportunity to get him, they have to know that. They can’t come and try to throw something out there that we would never do. I’ve always felt this way about team building and a team in general: There are very few guys who you build around. This is a team game. You build with players. We are building with Jimmy right now. We think Cam Payne is a guy who can take some of the ballhandling role off Jimmy. He can run a team and do some things that way. But I’m a very firm believer that, maybe outside of a handful of guys who ever played this game, you build with players, not around one.”
Well then, I’m sure this made Butler feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Butler is a top 10 player in this league, and when you have a player of that caliber, you build AROUND them, and provide them the right talents to maximize their strengths. But as we see management doesn’t believe that’s the case with Jimmy. And it appears that when the draft comes along, if Boston does land in the top two with their Brooklyn pick, don’t be surprised if management makes an aggressive move to ship Butler.
And apparently Cam Payne has been running the Oklahoma City Thunder the last two years too. Who knew?
Throughout the presser, both Pax and Gar sputtered some more bullshit, showcasing their ineptitude as front office executives even more so. When asked if management was on the same page, Paxson essentially said everything out claiming turmoil between he and Forman is “fake news,” and that everyone is on the same page and that there is a “plan” in place even though they wouldn’t specify what said plan is, heh. BUT, Forman did say that it will take a couple of years to “retool” the roster.
For these last 25 games, both Paxson and Forman stated that Fred Hoiberg is going to give plenty of opportunity to the young guys; Bobby Portis, Denzel Valentine, specifically, to see what they have, and evaluate from there. In addition to testing the trade market for Butler come June, of course.
Did I mention that Paxson threw Tom Thibodeau under the bus? Because he did. In response to a question about this trade confirming the Doug McDermott experiment was a failure, Pax had this to say:
“Tom Thibodeau pushed really hard to draft Doug McDermott in 2014.”
Remember when Pax spoke about accountability? That seems to have gone out the window once again. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t management, who didn’t want to give any personnel power to Thibs, that made the decision to surrender five draft picks for the guy they just traded for scrap metal? And then replaced Thibs with a coach from Forman’s Ames Mafia to nurture another member in McDermott? Hmm...
And finally, according to Forman, Rajon Rondo will not be bought out. Whatever.
Burn it down, burn the whole thing down.