Jimmy Butler hopes to return to the Chicago Bulls and aims for the same for Rajon Rondo.
At least, that’s what Butler told reporters following the Bulls’ loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday night — a loss that bounced the Bulls from the postseason.
The Bulls started quickly, building a 2-0 lead and spitting in the face of the NBA playoff lines. But they came crashing back to reality, losing four straight and quickly facing an offseason in which they have to consider starting over.
Either way, Butler remains under contract, but is the constant subject of trade rumors. The New Orleans Pelicans are expected to be a strong suitor for the Bulls’ swingman this offseason.
Meanwhile, Rondo has a team option that will need to be picked up for him to return. The same applies to shooting guard Dwyane Wade, who drew interest from the Denver Nuggets last season and is likely to draw it again this year.
According to ESPN: “(Wade) has said in the past that he ‘would be a liar to say that I want to play on a team with all 21-year-olds,’ and acknowledged he wants to wait to see if the Bulls move Butler before making a decisions, but many in the Bulls’ organization believe that Wade will pick his option this summer because of the fact it’s highly unlikely that he will have another offer for next season worth that much money.”
It’s not just the players, either.
The Bulls could potentially changes courses when it comes to basketball management. The assumption is ownership will stick it out with the current team, including coach Fred Hoiberg.
As Yahoo Sports wrote: “Should Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf remain loyal to president John Paxson, general manager Gar Forman and coach Fred Hoiberg, a new course must be charted for these Bulls, a decision to rebuild responsibly around Butler and possibly one of Wade or Rondo – or retool entirely.”
The Bulls have been one of the league’s more followed franchises of the previous 30 years, their run of glory behind Michael Jordan in the 1990’s creating one of the NBA’s most passionate fan bases.
But they haven’t had much to cheer about lately, as the Bulls haven’t advanced to the Finals since Jordan retired 20 years ago. Since then, it’s been a couple of close calls and more than a few seasons of utter dysfunction.
This season fell somewhere in between, and it will be interesting to see how things play out over the summer.