Jimmy Butler now plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the how and why of his departure from Chicago will be a point of interest for some time. Butler’s desired landing spot in Cleveland never materialized, and the Boston Celtics felt the Bulls were asking too much for Butler and couldn’t secure a deal.
It’s safe to say the newest Timberwolf is disappointed with how his trade came to fruition. Butler told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that he wasn’t exactly thrilled with how his departure from Chicago was handled.
Speaking to Cowley from Paris, where he was on vacation, Butler called it the “craziest week I think I’ve ever gone through.” And he’s not happy about leaving behind a Chicago team he expected to lead for years to come.
“I guess being called the face of an organization isn’t as good as I thought. We all see where being the so-called face of the Chicago Bulls got me. So let me be just a player for the Timberwolves, man. That’s all I want to do. I just want to be winning games. Do what I can for my respective organization and let them realize what I’m trying to do.”
Butler said the “crazy” whirlwind of emotions got to him. There were multiple reports of destinations for Butler, then for a time it looked like he would stay in Chicago and remain with Dwyane Wade, who executed his player option to stay with the team. Then draft night came and Butler was bound for Minnesota.
“It’s crazy because there was me talking with guys about Cleveland, then all the outside rumors with Boston, Minnesota, Phoenix, then the feeling that I’m not going anywhere,’’ Butler said. “I mean I had so many people telling me what could possibly happen, but I just got to the point where I stopped paying attention to it.
“It’s crazy because it reminds you of what a business this is. You can’t get mad at anybody. I’m not mad, I’m not. I just don’t like the way some things were handled, but it’s OK.’’
He didn’t, however, go as far as his trainer Travelle Gaines did in calling Bulls GM Gar Forman a “liar” and less trusted than some “drug dealers” he knew. Butler distanced himself from his trainer’s comments, but it’s clear he’s upset about the way he was treated by the only team he’d ever played for.