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Derrick Rose.

Jimmy Butler posts heartfelt goodbye to Derrick Rose on social media

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The Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks completed what is likely to be the biggest trade this offseason as point guard Derrick Rose was sent to the Big Apple.

The five-player trade also saw the Bulls send Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick to New York for center Robin Lopez and guards Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant.

The decision by the Bulls to move the 2011 MVP doesn't come as a major surprise as they were reportedly looking to part ways with him for some time. 

Rose is currently earning just over $20m as he enters the final year of his contract and the Windy City franchise felt it was the right time to go their separate ways. 

In the last two seasons, as the 27-year-old has battled injuries, All-Star Jimmy Butler emerged as Chicago's leading player and for whatever reason, the two talented guards just couldn't make things work together at the United Center. 

There have been constant rumours of a difficult relationship between the pair both on and off the court but Butler has gone some way to putting that notion to bed with a heartfelt goodbye message to his former backcourt partner on Instagram. 

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat

The message read:

"My point guard, my brother: you taught me so much since I came into this league as a 21 year old kid from Marquette. For me, coming to Chicago to play and learn from you, an MVP, was eye-opening. You helped shape me into the player I am today. Helped teach me the work ethic needed to excel in this league. You are a leader,

"You are a leader, thru and thru. Always a supportive teammate and friend. I'll always be thankful for the opportunity I had to play alongside you each night and I know you're going to continue to be the great player and leader you were in Chicago for years to come."

END OF AN ERA

After being selected with the number one overall pick in 2008 by his hometown team, D-Rose was heralded as the next star of the franchise after Michael Jordan. 

In his first four years in the league, he certainly didn't disappoint. Rose was one of the most athletic and explosive point guards to ever grace the hardwood and revolutionised the position with his score-first approach that many adopt today. 

His breakout year came in 2011 where he led the Bulls to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference and the best record in the league at 62-20. As a result, he became the youngest MVP in NBA history at the age of 22.

Unfortunately for the three-time All-Star and basketball fans in general, it all went horribly wrong for him after that as he suffered two serious knee injuries which effectively forced him to miss two seasons. 

Despite finally getting back on the court this year and playing 66 games, the Memphis product has not been the same player and struggled for much of the year averaging a career-low 16.4 points a game. 

A new setting could do the talented point guard the world of good and with the pressure of delivering for his city now off his shoulders, we may see him blossom again in the NBA biggest market. He deserves it.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Derrick Rose
Chicago Bulls
Central Division
Derrick Rose
Jimmy Butler

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