Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 3/31/16

A year after giving Jimmy Butler one of the richest contracts in franchise history, the Bulls are reportedly thinking about putting the All-Star shooting guard on the trading block. Back in July, Butler turned down a host of other suitors and signed a five-year, $92.34MM deal to stay in Chicago.

It was supposed to mark the continuation of a dream backcourt alongside point guard Derrick Rose, but the injury-plagued Bulls have struggled to gain traction in the Eastern Conference and are in danger of missing the playoffs as the regular season enters its final two weeks. Moreover, rumblings have emerged about a power struggle behind the scenes involving Butler and Rose.

When Butler made comments in December suggesting that new coach Fred Hoiberg was too “laid back” to be successful, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com saw it as an effort to step out of Rose’s shadow and claim leadership of the team. Friedell also indicated that Butler was speaking for several players in the Bulls’ locker room, but it wasn’t clear if Rose was among them. Rumors of a rift between the star guards had been simmering since Butler signed his new contract, and a Chicago Sun-Times report in October indicated through an unidentified source that Butler doesn’t respect Rose’s work ethic.

There’s little doubt that changes are coming in Chicago this summer, whether or not the Bulls can squeak into the playoffs. Pau Gasol has already said it’s likely that he will opt out of his contract. Joakim Noah, who has been sidelined since mid-January with a separated shoulder, is also headed toward free agency and may be leaving town.

But the most important decision for GM Gar Forman may be whether to bring an end to the Butler-Rose pairing. Butler still has four years and $72.475MM left on the deal he signed last summer, although the final season is a player option, while Rose is under contract for one more year at $21,323,250.

That brings us to the topic for this evening: If the Bulls decide to break up their backcourt, should they trade away Butler or Rose? Butler is 26 and has become the team’s most reliable scorer, putting up his second straight season with a scoring average above 20 points per game. Rose is 27 and appears to be leaving behind the effects of the ACL injury that cost him the entire 2012/13 season. Tonight’s game is his 63rd of the season, which is the most he has played since 2010/11, although his scoring and assist numbers are well below what they were five years ago.

Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the topic. We look forward to what you have to say.

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10 thoughts on “Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 3/31/16

  1. This is like asking whether the Angels should rebuild around Mike Trout or Albert Pujols.

  2. baldy

    Why does everyone try to get rid of one or the other. Both are still young why they still hasn’t played that much together . The problem with the bulls is that everyone they put there hopes in has had terrible seasons and the injurys has been one of the issues. Yes they have had injurys before . But there injurys has came at the worst times. AND the front office for sum reason want to have two back up terrible point guards and to centers thats on a roster that they didn’t even need. The moral of this essay is jimmy and derrick are not the issue. U BUILD AROUND THEM. BUT THE CHITOWN MEDIA NEEDS TALKING POINTS EVERYDAY SO THATS THE STORY. DERRICK VS JIMMY

  3. I’m really not a fan of either, but for different reasons. Rose was the best player in the league at one point in time and injuries obviously derailed that. How much can you count on a guy with that type of injury history? His stats may be down just bc he had other guys around him that need their touches.
    Butler seems like he’s desperate for the spotlight, I don’t like that. To build a powerhouse, you can’t have that. You can’t fix Rose’s injury concerns, but I believe you could get Butler to buy into the system.
    You won’t get much for Rose, given the injury & character concerns; the pending free agency won’t help either. They will get salary relief, though.
    Bye Bye DRose!

  4. Butler’s a keeper, even if he’s rubbed some people the wrong way with his power play. I think they’d love to move Rose, but it would be tough to do since he’s intent on becoming a free agent in 2017.

  5. Z.....

    I don’t think you move either of them. I think you need to choose an identity, and then play the correct rotations. You’re just hurting yourself by being in-between pace and space and athleticism, and slow mathodical, half court, defensive minded. They could use more help on the wing

  6. rxbrgr

    Swap Jimmy Butler and D’Angelo Russell! LAL had interest in Butler last offseason and heavens knows CHI needs some added drama in the locker room.

  7. Butler to Philly for Okafor, Lakers pick, heat and OKC pick. Lets go Sam get it done

  8. I would be open to moving both. The Bulls can no longer pretend that this team has championship ability. A rebuild is in order. However, the Bulls likely cannot find a financial match for Rose and he will almost certainly play out his contract next season. At that point, I think he will move on.

    The bigger question–and value–is Butler. He is a high level, two-way ballplayer. An All-Star and likely top 15 NBA talent. He is also provides cost certainty throughout his prime–though at a high price. The longer the Bulls keep him, the shorter the team control, the older the player–the less valuable. In other words, Butler’s value is at a peak right now. The Bulls can, and should, get a major haul if they move him. (And, no, Butler for D’Angelo Russell is not even remotely close to enough).

    The two primary questions the Bulls have to ask are “Is Jimmy Butler a genuine championship foundational player?” and “Can we rebuild the Bulls around Bulter in the next 3 years (the effective length of his contract before the opt out) to contend for a championship?” My answer to both of those questions is no. Butler is a tremendous player, but he is not a transcendent player. No shame in that. I feel the same way about Klay Thompson and did about Chris Bosh when LBJ was in Miami. Butler is a key piece for a championship team, but not the foundation. And we are living in Golden State’s world right now. No reason to think that the Bulls can come close in the next several years to meet that level.

    So, the Bulls should look to a future 5 years from now. At that point, Butler will be done with his contract and on the way down. If the Bulls hold on to him (and the majority of this roster) then the front office will be consigning the Bulls to at least a decade of mediocrity. Trading Butler for real quality young talent allows the team to reboot and move towards a realistic championship window. The team needs to seriously consider moving Jimmy.

    That said, I am not suggesting the Bulls trade him at all costs. A deal has to provide real quality in return. If not, don’t trade him. However, I think if we look to the Wiggins/Love deal, we have a template for the type of deal. Because I believe Bulter is better than Love. So the Bulls should think big, but think.

  9. @CW_Crouse

    I’m still a believer in both players, but if they trade Jimmy, they should get a nice package in return. Rose might not get them much, considering his one year remaining on his deal and he can just bolt.

  10. Z-A

    Gotta trade both. Butler is easy to trade. Rose is harder b/c you have to match salaries. Memphis and both NY teams really don’t match up unless you’re doing like Thad Young + Jack. He’s also only on a 1 year deal at that point, so you’re not getting assets. Philly could take them both off your hands I think when the cap goes up next season with 54M available space. So Butler + Rose for Okafor or Noel, the Lakers unprotected pick, OKC and Heat Pick. You won’t get the #1 overall. But the Bulls can build around Okafor or Noel since Pau and Noah will be gone.

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