Report: Tension exists between Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler
If the Chicago Bulls want their backcourt of the future to consist of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, the two superstars are going to have to work on learning to coexist.
Dan Berstein of 670 The Score in Chicago reports that Rose became frustrated during Chicago’s blowout Game 6 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers and allowed Butler to take over the offense. Rather than waving Butler off, Berstein notes that Rose took a “passive-aggressive” approach and attempted only four shots in the second half.
Sources describe a passive-aggressive reaction from Rose that was the culmination of tensions building in recent weeks with Butler’s emergence as a primary scorer. Butler is very aware that he won his bet on himself and is poised to reap the reward of a maximum contract from the Bulls, whether or not it takes an offer sheet from another club in restricted free agency this summer. Butler’s emergence was validated by the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, and he’s now feeling every bit the star, with all that entails.
The Bulls scored 31 points in the first quarter and looked sharp on offense. Rose had three assists and was 5-of-9 shooting in the quarter. Chicago went cold in the second, with Butler shooting just 2-of-6 from the field and missing both of his 3-point.
Rose was apparently frustrated, but he chose to let Butler do his thing instead of taking control. The Bulls were destroyed in the second half and lost 94-73.
Butler will soon become an unrestricted free agent, but all signs point to the Bulls offering him a max contract extension. That means Chicago’s starting backcourt will be making nearly $40 million per season combined.
Of course, Butler is expected to have offers from several other teams — including one that has a lot of history to offer. Should the 25-year-old remain in Chicago, he and Rose need to make it a point to work together this offseason. They have the potential to be the best back court in the NBA if they don’t try to upstage one another.