People were very excited for this past season for the Chicago Bulls. Most thought this would be the year that Derrick Rose would come back even better after his injuries because he would a proven shooting guard to go along with him, Jimmy Butler. Usually when you have two players of Rose and Butler’s caliber, success comes easy, you just need to make sure those players coincide together. The two obvious examples of that are Kobe and Shaq, as well as Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
Well, it was far from successful for the Bulls and their backcourt. Rose and Butler were only able to play 66 and 67 games respectively, but the Bulls missed the playoffs. In a year where the Eastern Conference seemed to take a step-up as far as level of play goes, the Bulls seemed to significantly regress.
The problem is not their relationship together, they want it to work and have a great relationship, it is that their games just do not mesh.
In an article from the Chicago Tribune, they explain how the Bulls are affected when they are on the floor together:
Simply put, the two didn’t play well together consistently last season with the Bulls getting outscored by 3.5 points per 100 possessions when both were on the court. If left unaddressed, their uneasy alliance will continue to have a negative effect on the locker room….
Until utilizing them together in screen-and-roll plays more frequently down the stretch, (coach Fred) Hoiberg often called isolation plays for Rose or Butler. The other stood on the perimeter, where their respective 29.3 and 31.1 percent 3-point shooting struck little fear.
This is a tough situation for the Bulls because they can really do nothing at this point. If they want to trade Rose, they are going to have to find a team that wants to take on his $21.7 million dollar contract, which is virtually no one. So they would have to sweeten the deal if they were to do that. On the other hand, Butler is a player they want to keep around for the future and would like to rebuild around him. Though he does bring a lot of value in return for them, why would the Bulls choose to part with Butler over Rose?
A situation that could be brought up is a complete revamp of the Bulls roster. They could, and this most likely won’t happen, trade both Rose and Butler to the same team. This would keep both players happy because they are still on the same team and the return in value for this would be as high as it can get. The Bulls would receive some sort of combination of picks and players. Now, once again, it would be hard for teams to take on both of their contracts, but a team that wants to take that next step could consider it.
The Bulls may just be stuck for now. They have to wait until an offer comes for either one of these players. One thing is for sure, ultimate success won’t come with both of these players on the same roster. One has to go.