The Bulls didn’t end up shipping off Jimmy Butler at the deadline, as had been rumored, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t thinking about their future. General manager Gar Forman spoke with ESPN Chicago Friday about the organization heading forward. Forman noted that the trade the club did make (Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott for Cameron Payne, Anthony Morrow and Joffrey Lauvergne), will free up more time for rookie Denzel Valentine.
In the same conversation Forman reveals that they tried to trade for Payne on draft night last June but were unable to. He mentions that they “absolutely loved” him coming out of the draft and think he’ll be a player for their future.
Later in the discussion, when the topic turned to Fred Hoiberg, Forman said that he foresees the head coach coming back to in 2017/18. For more insights about the Bulls, consider listening to the full 20-minute chat at ESPN.
There’s more out of Chicago:
- Veteran guard Dwyane Wade doesn’t have a clear read on whether or not the Bulls’ front office would want him to pick up his player option this summer and return to the team for 2017/18. “I haven’t had that conversation about next season with the guys,” he told Nick Friedell of ESPN. “[…] I take my option seriously and I always look into what’s the best thing for me to do.” For now, Wade adds, he just wants to play basketball.
- The Bulls will have a better idea of what shape their rebuild will take this offseason, writes Neil Johnson of ESPN Analytics (Insider). Johnson asks if the Bulls can truly rebuild around Jimmy Butler or whether, by retaining him, they’re delaying the inevitable.
- For what it’s worth, Jimmy Butler told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that he has faith in the Bulls’ front office and is exactly where he wants to be.
- Newly acquired guard Anthony Morrow caused a bit of a stir when it was announced that he’d wear No. 1 with his new club. The veteran quickly changed course when Bulls fans protested at the thought of him wearing Derrick Rose‘s former number.