One of Chicago’s Three Alphas may well stick around despite the Bulls’ teardown.
According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls still value Dwyane Wade’s veteran presence on what will be a very young team, and have no plans to offer the guard a buyout.
Wade has already opted into his $24 million payday for 2017-18. There was some thought that he might try to find a way out after Jimmy Butler was traded and, most recently, Rajon Rondo was released. There is no indication that Wade has tried to engineer an exit, at least right now.
The Chicago Bulls would like to trade Rajon Rondo, but they have very limited time to accomplish that.
Rondo is set to make $13.4 million in the final year of his deal next season if he remains on the Bulls roster through Friday. However, the Bulls will only have to pay him $3 million if they renounce his rights before the end of the day. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune expects the team to end up doing just that.
Before Jimmy Butler was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Bulls said publicly that they want Rondo back and were planning to exercise his team option. According to Johnson, Chicago tried to include Rondo in some of the Butler trade scenarios but had no luck. Now, the 31-year-old point guard will likely be waived.
Rondo has been included in some recent trade proposals because of the way his contract is structured, including some larger scenarios with Butler before the deal with the Timberwolves materialized. Barring an unexpected trade opportunity materializing Friday, expect Rondo to be waived.
Sources said the Bulls and Rondo’s representatives discussed re-signing the veteran guard at a lower salary. But that’s a long shot scenario.
Dwyane Wade is likely to exercise his $23.8 million player option for next season, but that decision seems strictly financial. There’s a chance he could enter into a buyout discussion with the Bulls, but the team has said they are operating under the assumption that he will be on the roster next season.
The Bulls are clearly trending toward a complete rebuild with younger players like Kris Dunn and Cameron Payne. While Rondo looked like his old self before fracturing his thumb in the playoffs, his tenure in Chicago hasn’t exactly been free of drama. A parting of ways makes sense.
There has been a lot of talk about the Chicago Bulls not getting enough in return from the Minnesota Timberwolves with the Jimmy Butler trade, but that may have something to do with teams knowing Butler’s relationship with his coach had soured.
In a lengthy feature about how the Butler trade came together, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that it was essentially a known fact that the Bulls did not want to build around Butler. It seems as if they ultimately chose head coach Fred Hoiberg over Butler, as the two never seemed to be on the same page.
More from Lowe:
The Bulls were rather publicly uncomfortable with the idea of Butler as foundational player. Butler and Hoiberg never jelled, and at times, including around midseason, Butler’s bristling at Hoiberg’s instructions and calm personality made people on the team uncomfortable, a source said. That stuff will not happen with Thibodeau. Butler craves a hard-ass coach. Hoiberg was never going to play to that type.
The Bulls acquired young point guards Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn — two players with plenty of potential — and essentially moved up nine spots from No. 16 to No. 7 in Thursday night’s draft. While that seems like a reasonable price for Minnesota, Lowe notes that Chicago asked for more from other teams (like Eric Bledsoe and the No. 4 pick from the Phoenix Suns), but nothing ever came of it. Some teams were concerned that Butler would just leave in 2019 when he is eligible to become a free agent.
If you remember, Butler was openly critical of Hoiberg just months after the coach was hired by the Bulls. More recently, Butler did some things on the court that would not fly under a coach like Tom Thibodeau, and perhaps that is the way the All-Star swing man wants it to be.
The Chicago Bulls may be about to blow it all up.
Sam Amick of USA Today reported that, in light of the Jimmy Butler trade, the Bulls have not yet approached Rajon Rondo about a buyout, but it is “a possibility.”
In addition, despite earlier reports, Dwyane Wade will opt into the second year of his deal and take his $24 million.
The Bulls will have some decisions to make. Rondo has a team option with a $3 million buyout, while Wade has no interest in being part of a rebuilding effort at this stage of his career. The Bulls are clearly trending that direction, though, so there will be a lot of talk about buyouts and trades in the days and weeks to come.
It remains unclear what Jimmy Butler thinks about being traded by the Chicago Bulls, but one member of his inner circle doesn’t seem sorry to see him go.
Travelle Gaines, Butler’s personal trainer, sent a scathing tweet shortly after Butler’s trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves was made official, and he pulled no punches against Chicago general manager Gar Forman.
Notably, Gaines sent the tweet from Paris, where Butler is currently staying.
Obviously, there’s no way of knowing whether Gaines’s views are at all representative of Butler’s. The guard himself, it is said, wanted to stay in Chicago. Whatever the case, there is clearly some ill will in Butler’s camp toward Forman, team vice president John Paxson, and the organization as a whole.
The Chicago Bulls have reportedly been exploring trade options for Jimmy Butler, and the assumption is that Dwyane Wade would not want to remain with the team next season if Butler is moved. That may not be the case, however.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports that Wade is leaning toward picking up his $24 million player option for the 2017-2018 season regardless of what happens with Butler. Wade has until June 27 to make a decision, and any trade involving Butler would likely happen before the Thursday NBA Draft.
While Wade has reportedly told the Bulls he has no interest in being part of a rebuilding process, sources told Shelburne the 35-year-old has enjoyed playing in his hometown of Chicago. Wade also knows the $24 million salary he would get with the Bulls is a lot higher than any team would pay him on the open market. After he took less money for years to help the Miami Heat, you can’t blame him for wanting to cash in as he nears retirement.
The trade rumors involving Butler (read some of them here) have really ramped up this week. If Butler is dealt, the Bulls are not going to be very good next season. Wade may have to decide if winning is more important than making as much money as possible while playing for his hometown team.
Jimmy Butler has heard his name come up in trade rumors dating back to last offseason, and that chatter is almost certain to continue this summer. With the Chicago Bulls having been eliminated from the playoffs after losing four straight games to the Boston Celtics, it’s fair to wonder if Butler will encourage the team to move him.
When asked on Friday night if he will be seeking clarity about his future from Bulls management in the coming days, Butler danced around the subject. And if you’re into reading body language, his smirk when he said he wants to remain in Chicago might interest you.
Dwyane Wade has a player option for the 2017-2018 season, and he and Butler seemingly became close this past year. They both expressed frustration in the younger players on the team on more than one occasion, so it’s fair to wonder if Butler will want out if Wade chooses to move.
Back in February, we heard a report claiming Butler has had some bizarre issues with the Bulls’ front office. If Wade opts out and Chicago doesn’t show enough of a commitment to improving its roster, Butler may nudge the team in the direction of a trade.
The Chicago Bulls have lost five of their last six games to fall below .500 on the season, and no player on the team seems more frustrated about it than Rajon Rondo.
During a win over the Charlotte Hornets Monday night, Rondo was seen giving teammate Jimmy Butler an icy look following a defensive breakdown late in the game.
Those emotions were subtle compared to the ones Rondo expressed after Sunday’s embarrassing blowout loss to the Boston Celtics. The Bulls hardly looked like they were trying in that game. Rondo played just 19 minutes and scored two points, and he was very open about his lack of playing time this season.
“I feel pretty good due to the [lack of] playing time,” Rondo said, per Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “You can look at it one of two ways, I look at it as [being] pissed off by not playing a lot, which I am. Or you can look at it as I’m benefiting, I’m healthy. I can play with my son.
“I’m not waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning with a lot of aches and pains at night.”
Rondo then spoke about how different things have been with the Bulls than how he envisioned them when he signed with the team last summer. He also made it clear he has not gotten along with head coach Fred Hoiberg.
“My perspective on things [has changed], I would love to be part of a winning tradition or winning culture,” Rondo said. “I thought I was going to get that here. The people up top are going in a different direction as far as experimenting. It [stinks] when you have the opportunity to make the playoffs and they want to go a different route.
“I’m looking for a straightforward coach. That’s what I’m looking forward to the most, sitting down with a coach. I want to develop a relationship and see what his goals are.”
Simply put, things are a mess in Chicago. If the report we heard about Butler’s paranoia a while back wasn’t enough to prove that, Rondo’s latest remarks certainly are.
The Chicago Bulls are preparing to give new acquisition Cameron Payne every chance to make the point guard position his own.
After dealing Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson to Oklahoma City to get Payne, it was made pretty clear that the Bulls are essentially ready to hand the keys over to the 22-year old.
The Thunder also felt very strongly about Payne, but simply accepted that he was blocked for the foreseeable future by Russell Westbrook.
This may end up being a deal that benefits both teams. The Thunder got some help for their playoff push, while Chicago has a point guard that they hope they can build around. It’s also a pretty blatant admission that the Rajon Rondo experiment did not work at all. If Payne develops like the Bulls think he can, they may have just made a really savvy move.
Jimmy Butler continues to hear his name come up in rumors as the Feb. 23 trade deadline approaches, but the Chicago Bulls are apparently telling teams they will hold onto the star swingman.
Most of the speculation involving Butler has centered around the Boston Celtics. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported on Monday that the Bulls and Celtics have not had serious talks about Butler since the summer, and Butler’s camp has been given the impression that the 27-year-old will not be moved.
Johnson later added that Chicago would have no choice but to listen if the Celtics offered the Brooklyn Nets’ 2017 first-round draft pick, but the Bulls are in no way “shopping” Butler.
Dwyane Wade has a player option for next season, and he will almost certainly decline it if the Bulls trade Butler. That would thrust the team into full rebuilding mode and make it very difficult to land big-name free agents, and Bulls GM Guy Forman has said he wants to remain competitive while building around younger players.
We all know how quickly things can change around the trade deadline, but all signs point to Butler remaining in Chicago.