The NBA offseason has been a busy one around the league. One of the key trades made this summer saw Jimmy Butler be shipped from the Chicago Bulls to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite his name being floated around the NBA rumor mill here and there, Butler says he was surprised to find out he would no longer be in Chicago next season.
In an interview with Bill Simmons, Butler said his mentality was set on being with the Bulls next season.
“I thought I was going to be there,” Butler said to Simmons. “When I left there, I did think I was going to be there.”
You may remember earlier this summer the Butler rumors swirling around the Cleveland Cavaliers. At one point, the Cavs appeared to be a viable candidate to be a trade partner with the Bulls, only to see reports suggests Cavs players were reaching out to Butler to convince him not to come to Cleveland due to a messy front office situation and a questionable future.
As often happens during the crazy offseason, things happen quickly so the plans can change on the fly for a franchise. Butler seems to think that may have been the case with the Bulls.
“I don’t know if they really knew what they wanted to do until something was presented to them that was like ‘OK yeah, we gotta take this, we gotta go that way,'” Butler explained.
What has become perfectly clear is the Bulls made the decision to go for a full rebuild. Rather than float around contending for one of the final playoff seeds in the downward-trending Eastern Conference, the Bulls took advantage of some draft night opportunities to establish a new method to build the franchise for potential future success. Butler could have been a building block, but the Bulls decided otherwise.
That could be to the benefit of both Butler and the Timberwolves, though.