Jimmy Butler insisted today that he wasn’t calling out Fred Hoiberg when he made a series of pointed comments implicating the coach after Saturday’s loss to the Knicks, notes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). The swingman said today that he accepts that he has to fit into Hoiberg’s offense, an issue that’s reportedly raised concern, and that the coach doesn’t have to change as a person, even though he would like to see him demand more, as Johnson also relays (Twitter links). Hoiberg agrees that he can get on his players more than he has and said that he didn’t find Butler’s remarks from Saturday hurtful, according to Johnson (Twitter links). See more on Butler, Hoiberg and other Bulls amid the latest from the Windy City:
- Taj Gibson would net the Bulls a greater return in a trade than Joakim Noah would, but the Bulls have resisted the idea of trading Gibson the last two years, a Western Conference GM told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. A market does exist for Noah, the GM also said, though he thinks the center is poised to depart Chicago in free agency this summer anyway, as Deveney details.
- Chicago has major locker room problems, and while acrimony doesn’t exist, a lack of camaraderie does, a league source who spoke to Deveney for the same piece said. Butler, whose lone-wolf approach reportedly leaves others feeling alienated, said today that after talking to his teammates, he believes they accept his leadership, even as he admits he has to be a better leader, observe Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com and Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com (All Twitter links).
- Doug McDermott has taken a leap forward this season, and he credits a significant part of that to Hoiberg, who attended the same high school as he did, Friedell notes. “He runs stuff for me,” McDermott said. “He gives me that confidence. He’ll run stuff for me and when you’ve got Derrick [Rose] and Jimmy out there you need a floor spacer and I know I’m going to get shots with those guys eventually just because they draw so much attention.”