Jimmy Butler on if he was consulted on Rose trade: ‘Above my pay grade’
By Jason Rowan
Jimmy Butler was in Harlem on Monday to take part in the introduction of the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team. And he hardly appeared to be the happiest person in attendance, especially when the topic of Derrick Rose being dealt to the New York Knicks was brought up to him.
When asked if anyone in the Bulls organization consulted him before the trade was same, Butler intimated that it wasn’t his decision to make.
“Above my pay grade,’’ he said, via the New York Post’s Marc Berman.
Butler also referred to his former teammate as “All-Star caliber” and revealed he hasn’t yet spoken to Rose since the trade went down last week.
But he didn’t shy away from praising his former teammate to the press, hardly surprising given his heartfelt tribute on Instagram in the aftermath of the deal.
“Obviously I wish him the best moving forward,’’ said Butler, who reportedly seemed somber during the event. “I know he’s going to help New York win games, man. He’s a hell of a player.’’
The Bulls last season where plagued by chemistry issues, mostly stemming from the rumors that Butler and Rose had an acrimonious relationship both on and off the court. Butler attributed that perception to how the team “didn’t win like everyone expected” and cited injuries for the lack of success as the Bulls went 42-40 and missed the playoffs.
Despite Bulls general manager Gar Forman’s insistence that the team didn’t actively shop Butler during the 2016 NBA Draft, the belief in some circles is that he could still be dealt, perhaps to the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that along with Boston Celtics pursued the guard on NBA Draft night last week, per several reports.
As it stands now, though, Butler remains with the Bulls and says he looks forward to playing with point guard Jerian Grant, whom the Bulls acquired from the Knicks in the Rose trade. Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg also expressed optimism that he could coach Butler, despite evidence from last season indicating otherwise.
If Butler does indeed remain with the Bulls, it looks like he’ll need some cheering up.