Summer Status of Jimmy Butler Will Define Chicago Bulls General Direction


jimmy butler

The Chicago Bulls have to decide what they want to be. Are they going to start over and move towards building a true championship contender? Or just remain content being an astounding commercial success with a mediocre at best on-court product.

The status of Jimmy Butler will define that direction. The NBA trade deadline came and went and Jimmy G. Buckets is still here.

It’s not too surprising because the Bulls will likely have better deals available this summer than they did this past week.

The Bulls did move out Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, getting next to nothing in return. Because they only got about 10 cents on the dollar in return, it does show perhaps an inking that a total tear down, and followed by a total rebuild could be coming.

jimmy butler

If that’s the case, then hopefully the Bulls get a lot more in return for Jimmy Butler than they got for Gibson and McDermott last Thursday. It’s not likely that Butler will be the best player on the team when the Bulls win their next championship.

Just visited WGN TV studios to join CLTV “Sports Feed” with Jarrett Payton (son of Walter himself). we spent a good deal of time talking Jimmy Butler and Chicago Bulls basketball. View the video at this link.

The Bulls front office is giving the outside world a ton of Orwellian doublespeak. They say they didn’t try to shop Jimmy Butler, even though it’s obvious that they did. They claimed they were getting young and more athletic, at the same exact time they signed Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo.

One thing Bulls General Manager Gar Forman did shoot straight on was his “this is not a rebuild, it’s a retooling.”

chicago bulls

One can fully understand why the Bulls don’t want to do a total “blow it all up and then start over again clean,” but it might really be the way they should go. We know that the Garpax is safe; and that means Coach Fred Hoiberg is safe. VP John Paxson and GM Gar Forman will stay and Hoiberg is Gar’s guy, so he’s staying too. This is an organization where if you’re “somebody’s guy,” you stay.

The Chicago Bulls are as much about “it’s not what you know, but who you know” as any franchise in sports.

Forbes estimated in its newest release of NBA franchise valuations last week that the Bulls are worth $2.5 billion. They are the league’s fourth-most valuable franchise, trailing only the New York Knicks ($3.3 billion), L.A. Lakers ($3 billion) and Golden State Warriors ($2.6 billion). It’s an increase in $200 million from last season.

The Bulls have led the NBA in attendance in each of the past seven seasons and currently a top that table list again this year.


Despite the team being mediocre, they’re still selling the place out. This side isn’t going anywhere other than a one-and-done in the NBA postseason. The Chicago Bulls versus Lebron James in the playoffs is a story that’s been more rehashed and rebooted than Batman movies.

There’s just been way too many editions of the series and it’s borderline unwatchable now.

The Bulls have become like the 1990s Chicago Cubs; astoundingly popular and printing money despite not winning anything.

They need to be like the 2010s Cubs- go scorched Earth and then start over, be patient and build for long term success. Don’t try the quick fix.


If that future does involve Jimmy Butler, can you trust this front office to actually build around him? If he’s jettisoned, do you have faith in the GarPax to get what they deserve in return? This summer should hopefully provide more clarity and consequence than we saw in 2016.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times and Bold, contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication, CGTN America, WGN CLTV News and KOZN

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