Chicago Bulls rumors about a trade of Jimmy Butler or Derrick Rose are buzzing. The Bulls rumors were addressed by general manager Gar Forman, who has a lot to say about how the team is going to approach the NBA offseason. A report from ESPN.com on Thursday, April 14 states that some big changes could be coming for the Bulls, including splitting up the guard tandem of Butler and Rose. Forman spoke at length when he was asked whether the Bulls are still committed to Butler moving forward.
"I would say, I think John [Paxson] made it pretty clear we've got to take a look at everything. We've got to explore all options, and I don't think there's anything that's off the table when you have a disappointing year like this. With that said, obviously Jimmy has had a fantastic year. From where he was to where he's gotten to, he's become a very, very valuable player for us."
Jimmy Butler has seen his name mentioned in a number of Chicago Bulls rumors before this, especially prior to signing a long-term contract extension with the franchise. Despite that pay raise, Butler didn't help the Bulls win any additional games this season, as the team failed to even make the NBA Playoffs. Butler did make the All-Star team, though, averaging 20.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. It's not a stretch to also say he might be the most important part of the current roster.
Despite a payroll north of $87 million, ranking the Chicago Bulls eighth in highest salaries, the team posted a 42-40 record during the 2015-16 NBA season. Rather than deal assets like Pau Gasol or Taj Gibson before the trade deadline, the front office decided to keep the roster intact for a run at the postseason. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the owner of the Bulls even made comments suggesting that he would be willing to offer Gasol a huge contract extension following the season.
Failing to make the postseason could lead to many repercussions, which also might include coach Fred Hoiberg getting fired. Bulls executive vice president John Paxson spoke about Hoiberg and gave his thoughts on what might take place for the team next. Paxson showed the new coach a lot of support, shouldering a bit of the blame for how the team underperformed this year.
"This roster for whatever reason -- we brought back, we thought they had one more shot to make a real positive run in the Eastern Conference. It obviously didn't play out that way. And that's where our biggest disappointment comes from. I do think that anybody who watched us play this year saw a team that didn't have the collective fight or toughness that's needed to battle through adversity. And to me, that's the biggest disappointment in all of this. And again, that falls on all of us."
So what happens next for the Chicago Bulls? There is no shortage of Bulls rumors about what the team could do with Derrick Rose or Jimmy Butler. Rose hasn't been performing as a top-tier point guard, despite a salary reserved for the elite players in the NBA. He is heading into the final year of his contract and could be someone the team moves in order to really start a rebuilding effort. As for a Butler trade, because he is young and still has four years left on his contract, Butler could command a nice return package in any deal.
The Bulls already have about $73.5 million in guaranteed contracts for the 2016-17 NBA season, and that doesn't include Joakim Noah, Aaron Brooks, or E'Twaun Moore. It does include a salary of about $7.8 million for Pau Gasol, who has long been expected to opt out of his contract. Should he do so, the Bulls would then have about $63.7 million to spend in free agency. Dealing Rose would free up another $21.3 million, but would it solve any of the issues the franchise is struggling to deal with?
The coming NBA offseason is going to be packed with Chicago Bulls trade rumors, especially when the draft starts to get close. Fans should expect to hear a lot from NBA analysts about what the team could do next, so it shouldn't be surprising if the front office finally decides to go into a rebuilding mode.
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