The embarrassing season of the Chicago Bulls ended with practically every member of the roster in danger of getting traded or left unsigned. No basketball star was safe - not even leaders Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose. With the intensity of the battles in the Eastern Conference, where the Toronto Raptors of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRoza threatened the dominance of LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls are running the risk of falling way behind the surging teams. Given the circumstances and the increasing urgency to return to their dominant stand in the league, reports claim that the Pau Gasol team decided to release a key player to pave the way for a new and more competitive strategy.
One of the main concerns of the Chicago Bulls in the previous seasons is the rumored lack of chemistry between Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose. Pretty much like the problem of the Houston Rockets, where James Harden and Dwight Howard just cannot make it work on the hardwood court, the Taj Gibson team faced two leadership strategies that divided the team. Like the Houston Rockets, it looks like the Chicago Bulls are planning to get rid of the older player on the roster, Derrick Rose, in an effort to only have one leader to unite the whole team.
Another point against Rose in addition to his injuries and absences in the crucial games of the NBA season is the sexual abuse lawsuit against him. Given the desire of the Chicago Bulls to build a stronger and better basketball team, the criminal complaints against Rose reportedly serve as a distraction to their main goal - that is, to dethrone the Cleveland Cavaliers, face the Golden State Warriors and finally win an NBA championship. With this in mind, will the Chicago Bulls make the right move of choosing to keep only Jimmy Butler as the squad's leader? Is the younger star ready to head the NBA team solo?
"Yeah, I think so. I definitely do," said Butler when asked if he feels his place in the Chicago Bulls next season is secured. He added, "I do think that with the year that we did have last season -- it's unacceptable. So you have to then, truth be told, you got to look at everything. I didn't do my job, so truth be told, can I help this team win? That's the question that's brought up. And I can't be mad at that. You can use whatever you want to use, but we didn't make the playoffs. That's all anybody sees and that rightfully so. So do I think I'm going to be here? Yeah, I think so. But that's just me thinking."
Despite his confidence, rumors are rife that Butler is not the leader Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson want for the Chicago Bulls. So how will the embattled star address these concerns?
"I think what I learned as a whole is that talk is cheap and learn to keep your mouth closed," said Butler in response to the lessons he learned from their disappointing season. He added, "I think that's a lesson I've had to apply in life the hard way at times. Just because maybe I do talk too much. That's on the basketball aspect of it, the leadership aspect of it, all aspects of it. Just be quiet, just do what you're supposed to do."