Jimmy Butler and Fred Hoiberg met Sunday, a day after Butler made sharply critical comments about the coach, and they had what a source who spoke with K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune called a “good talk.” Bulls management likes the work it’s seen from both of them, and with both in the first year of respective five-year deals, neither is going anywhere, Johnson posits. Still, some around the Bulls are dismayed about what they perceive as Butler’s selfishness and perplexed about why he’s reluctant to embrace Hoiberg’s offense, Johnson hears. The former 30th overall pick often warms up on his own, which rubs others the wrong way and prompted Joakim Noah to have a talk with him, a source said to Johnson. Butler’s sympathizers contend that he’s just frustrated that there aren’t many who work as hard as he does, Johnson adds. See more on Butler amid the latest from the Central Division:
- Butler is simply embracing the gritty attitude most would want out of a superstar, argues Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com, who points out that the swingman hasn’t said Hoiberg can’t coach or that the team made a mistake with his hiring.
- Any trade proposal to the Pistons would have to represent a marked upgrade in terms of talent for the team to bite, coach/executive Stan Van Gundy cautioned, as Aaron McCann of MLive.com notes. “I like the chemistry and character of our group,” Van Gundy said. “We won’t make lateral moves or marginal moves because continuity is important.”
- Kyrie Irving‘s return from injury Sunday challenges the Cavs to keep Kevin Love engaged in the offense to the degree that he has been so far this season, observes Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Love felt confident as he re-signed with the team this summer that his second season in Cleveland would be better than his first, when he appeared an afterthought at times next to Irving and LeBron James.