Heat’s Jimmy Butler has ‘zero’ thoughts about what could have been with Bulls
The Chicago Bulls pulled the trigger on a trade that sent star Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2017 NBA Draft. Since, Butler has made several stops. He played a season-and-change for the Timberwolves, taking them to the playoffs in his only full season with the team. He was then traded to the Philadelphia 76ers early in 2018-19, also helping them get to the postseason before a painful Game 7 loss at the hands of the eventual champion Toronto Raptors. Butler then moved on to the Miami Heat in free agency.
Many have wondered what the East would look like now if the Bulls hadn’t pulled the trigger so desperately two and a half years ago. Butler isn’t one of those people.
“Zero,” Butler said emphatically when prompted what could have been had he stayed with the team that drafted him, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
Many in the Bulls’ front office looked at Butler as a player with high potential on a championship team, but not one to build around. The Heat clearly thought otherwise, even shelling some valuable assets in a sign-and-trade with the Sixers this past summer.
“One guy’s trash is another man’s treasure,” said Butler.
The Bulls were reportedly in fear of making a five-year, $223 million supermax commitment to Butler — a sum he could have pursued after the 2017-18 season.
“I realize that this is a business, and I realized it the day that I got traded [from Chicago],” said Butler. “I still have a great relationship with those people over there. Always will. …
“Hell, I’m even more thankful that I was able to play with Dwyane Wade in Chicago. It’s crazy how things turn out.”
Now Butler is following in the footsteps of a retired Dwyane Wade, looking to lead this new wave of Heat players to the same hefty aspirations the franchise had during his heyday.