Jimmy Butler Trade Rumors: Bulls Star Addresses Latest Buzz

Mike Norris@@MikeNorrisBRFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2016

Mar 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) shoots against Atlanta Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of a down season for the Chicago Bulls, rumors that guard Jimmy Butler could be traded have been floating around since the All-Star break.

Continue for updates.

Butler Not Paying Attention to Trade Rumors

Friday, April 1

The Bulls fired head coach Tom Thibodeau prior to the season after a power struggle with the front office and brought in former Iowa State Cyclones head coach Fred Hoiberg. However, they have struggled this season and, at 38-37, may not make the playoffs.

That doesn't matter to Butler, who signed a five-year, $90 million-plus contract in the offseason. He wants to be in Chicago and help the team win, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.com:

That's why I'm here. I don't plan on going anywhere. I can't control what everybody else does. I know that this is the city that I love, Chicago. And I want to wear that jersey. I want to wear that name on the front, and I wear it proudly. All I got to do is continue to control what I can control. That's try to help this team win games.

On Wednesday, Yahoo Sports reported the Boston Celtics attempted to trade for Butler in February (via Friedell), but Butler said he isn't paying attention to any rumors:

To tell you the truth I don't [pay attention to the rumors. Somebody sent [the story] to me today, and I just clicked off of it. I mean, why am I getting in [to the speculation]? I can't control it. I can't say don't do this or don't do that. That's not my job. If I do what I'm supposed to do on the floor, then everything else takes care of itself. I'm a firm believer in that.

There is no doubt this season has been tough for the Bulls, who could miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. In January, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Zach Harper of CBS Sports) reported center Joakim Noah wasn't happy with Hoiberg's style, and a shake-up could be possible.

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Butler is having a career season with 21.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game and has become the leader on a team that has former MVP Derrick Rose on the roster.

Butler's future could depend on whether the Bulls make the playoffs. They are one game behind the Indiana Pacers for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference, and if they are left out, the front office may want to overhaul the roster, which could include letting Noah walk and, yes, even trading Butler.

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