Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose trade: 'It had to be one of us'

The Chicago Bulls made a huge transition when they dealt Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. It was the end of an era in which Rose's Bulls made the playoffs seven of his eight seasons in his hometown. It also meant that the Bulls are 100 percent Jimmy Butler's team in every way. Butler said it was either going to be himself or Rose getting dealt from the Bulls.

Butler joined The Jump on ESPN on Wednesday and was asked about the Rose trade to the Knicks. The Bulls wing said the team called him about the move and that it wasn't a surprise that it happened, but he knew it was going to be one of them.

"I can't say that I was surprised but I knew that it had to be one of us to tell you the truth."

Butler praises Rose quite a bit, much like he did in an Instagram post right after the point guard was traded. Rachel Nichols mentioned the underlying story all season long of a battle between them, which Butler chalked up to the Bulls not winning and not making the playoffs. Some of that is certainly true but there were stories of unrest between Butler and Rose along with Butler and coach Fred Hoiberg throughout their first season since Tom Thibodeau parted ways with the team.

When Tracy McGrady pressed Butler on why one of the two had to be moved, Butler's answer was certainly unsatisfying. He simply said, "I have no idea." It's confusing that one of them had to go but he doesn't know why.

Butler also may not be a Chicago Bull for the long haul, despite signing a five-year deal with the team last summer. Butler's name has been in the rumor mill for quite some time, and it heightened around the draft when it was rumored that both the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Boston Celtics were trying to entice the Bulls with high draft picks. Both teams wanted Butler pretty badly, and there were a lot of whispers about him being moved even after the Rose trade.

Butler was asked about sticking with the Bulls and said he was uncertain about getting to play for the Bulls next season.

"I don't think anything is for certain. I really don't. I love the city of Chicago, Chicago basketball, I think everybody knows that. They drafted me I've been here my entire career. Nothing is for certain."

It doesn't seem likely Butler will get moved this summer, but the Bulls would be crazy not to entertain offers if it means getting prime assets toward a rebuild. However, if you're moving Butler, you had better be certain you get trade components and value in return you can sell to Bulls fans.

The Windy City wasn't big enough for the both of them, apparently. USATSI
CBS Sports Writer

Zach Harper likes basketball. Some would even say he loves it. He's also an enthusiast for everything Ricky Davis, Rasheed Wallace, Nic Cage, and has seen the movie Gigli almost three times. He's been... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories