On Thursday afternoon reports began to surface once again, calling into question the doubt surrounding the long-term future of Jimmy Butler‘s tenure with the Chicago Bulls.
You surely remember this past trade deadline, the rampart rumors surrounding the Bulls star Jimmy Butler, and the Bulls potential desire to trade him. Trading Butler at the deadline last month, would have been a very unpopular move in Chicago, but it would have made sense from a basketball operations standpoint, so long as the dynamic duo of John Paxson and Gar Foreman were able to get back the appropriate value for Butler, and effectively begin a new chapter in Chicago Bulls basketball.
Of course, their move that sent Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to the Oklahoma City Thunder in return for a “headliner” of Cameron Payne, who has since spent his time bouncing in between Chicago and Hoffman Estates, seeing the bulk of his playing time with the Bulls Developmental League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls – makes you glad that they didn’t pull the trigger on a Butler deal, if for no other reason than the odds that they would swing and miss are so great, as evident by the horrible deal that they settled for in February.
The entire offseason this past summer was also filled with speculation that the Bulls were going to trade Butler, and hit the reset switch with the boatload of assets that they would get in return. Of course, once again, GarPax reversed course on their thinking, and signed Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo to big money deals, effectively making the team worse off in the long-term, than they were at the end of last season’s disappointing campaign.
Now, once again reports are surfacing that Butler will be dealt this summer, with a report this morning from The Ringer‘s Kevin O’Connor that cited a Bulls front-office source as saying that, Butler “is as good as gone” from Chicago after the season comes to and end.
Is there truth to the report? I’m sure that there is a large degree of truth to this, considering the fact that the Bulls have made multiple stabs at shopping Butler since the end of the 2016-17 NBA season.
So here’s the thing about this Butler trade drama, it highlights just how incompetent John Paxson and Gar Foreman really are, not that you needed me to tell you that. Beyond the shock and hurt that Bulls fans will experience if and when Butler is traded, the concept of hope that Paxson and Foreman will once again try to sell, is just straight-up fallacy.
Let’s say that this summer the Bulls pull the trigger on a Butler deal, and they get back the adequate value in return for Butler. I won’t even try to delve into what is an adequate return today, let’s just go with the idea that the hypothetical return, is in fact considered a good deal for the Bulls.
John Paxson and Gar Foreman, after ripping the hearts of Chicago fans out by moving the most beloved Bulls player since Michael Jordan, will proceed to sit at a podium and attempt to sell a scorn fan-base the hopes and dreams of a new chapter in Bulls basketball.
Here’s the problem with that… They can’t do it.
They have proven time and time again that they are not competent enough to build a championship caliber team in the NBA, regardless of who they are building it around. It Doesn’t matter who they get back in return for Butler, or who those draft picks turn into, they can’t get it right.
They couldn’t get it right when they channeled lightning in a bottle, snagging the number one overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, and selected Derrick Rose. They couldn’t get it right when they had one of the best coaches in basketball in Tom Thibodeau at them helm for years, before they eventually ran him out of town and blamed him for the problems in Chicago. Problems that were just beginning to boil over, little did we know at the time. And they have most certainly proven that they can’t get it done with Jimmy Butler in town.
Think of the players that they have had in the last decade, how good they were, and how incompetent the front-office was in building around them to put it all together. The careers wasted in Chicago during this era of Bulls basketball is is almost criminal at this point, so much so, that if I’m Jimmy Butler this summer, I’m praying for a trade.
The bottom line is, GarPax could get back the number one pick in the draft this summer in return for Butler, and that pick could parlay into anyone short of the second-coming of Michael Jordan himself, and they would still whiff on building around that superstar.
NBA Championships don’t matter to the current front-office, ticket sales and playoff revenue shares matter to Michael Reinsdorf and GarPax.
It really doesn’t matter what happens with Butler at this point, whether he stays or goes, the Bulls are stuck in basketball purgatory until they make a change in the front-office, so as a fan of Jimmy Butler, part of me actually hopes that they do make a move this summer, and free Jimmy Butler from this basketball purgatory that he is stuck in.