By Cody Westerlund–
(CBS) After a disappointing 2015-’16 campaign for the Bulls, All-Star wing Jimmy Butler could sense change was coming.
It’s for that reason that last week’s trade of former MVP and backcourt mate Derrick Rose didn’t shock Butler in the way it did outsiders.
“I can’t say that I was surprised,” Butler said Wednesday on ESPN’s “The Jump.” “I knew it had to be one of us, to tell you the truth. Obviously, I enjoyed playing with him. I came into the league when he was the MVP. I got so much respect for the guy. I have no bad things to say about him. I wish him the best moving forward.”
Butler admitted he and Rose didn’t mesh well enough on the floor.
“Because we didn’t win, I think everything comes up,” Butler said of reported friction between he and Rose. “If we win, there’s nothing to say. We’re fine, we can along together, we’d probably still be teammates to tell you the truth. But we didn’t win. I didn’t do my job, as well as he didn’t.”
Butler was then pressed for the reason why he and Rose couldn’t co-exist better in a basketball sense.
“I have no idea,” Butler said.
Butler was part of intense trade speculation on draft night, with multiple outlets reporting the Bulls engaged in advanced discussions with the Celtics in a deal that centered on him. Asked if he was certain he’s going to be in Chicago next season, Butler acknowledged, “I don’t think anything’s for certain — I really don’t.”
Despite all that, he’s still content to be a Bull.
“It’s good,” Butler said of his relationship with the Bulls. “We talk. I can’t say we talk about everything, because we don’t. But I think most of the important things, I get a phone call or a text message and we’ll talk. They’ll take my opinion on some things, but I’m a player.
“I love the city of Chicago. Chicago basketball, I think everybody knows that. They drafted me. I’ve been here my entire career, but nothing’s for certain.”
So are the Bulls the two-time All-Star Butler’s team?
“We better have guys that can play, but as the best player, I better help us win some games,” Butler responded. “So you can take that for how you want.
“I let people think what they want to think. I know where I stand. I know what I’m about. I think my teammates do as well.”