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Jimmy Butler.

Jimmy Butler says either he or Derrick Rose had to be traded from the Bulls

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The Chicago Bulls will look like a completely different team next season after trading hometown point guard Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks and coming to the end of an era. 

The likely departures of free agent big men Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah will also leave a big hole in the team's frontcourt this offseason.

After a disappointing campaign, which saw them miss out on the playoffs for the first time in eight years, the Windy City franchise is shaking things up and will be entering a rebuilding phase.

The move to trade Rose, after the 2008 number one draft pick spent eight years with his boyhood team, may have come as a surprise to many at the time, but certainly not everybody. 

The relationship on and off the floor between the 2011 MVP and his backcourt partner Jimmy Butler was a talking point throughout the year as they struggled to gel. Butler, therefore, wasn't as surprised as some to see the point guard depart.

"They called me," Butler said of the Bulls' front office during an appearance on ESPN's The Jump on Wednesday. "I can't say that I was surprised, but I knew that it had to be one of us, to tell you the truth. 

"Obviously, I enjoyed playing with him. I came into the league when he was the MVP. I've got so much respect for the guy. I have no bad things to say about him and I wish him the best moving forward."

Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers

Butler, a two-time All-Star, has blossomed into one of the best two-way shooting guards in the league and benefited from Rose's multiple injuries to make himself the leader of the franchise. 

Rumours continue to swirl that the Bulls may yet look to part ways with the three-time All-Defensive guard with numerous teams interested in acquiring his services.

However, that looks increasingly unlikely at this stage after both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics were unable to make the Bulls a sufficient offer on draft night when reports of a trade intensified.

The Marquette product has stated on more than one occasion that he wants to remain in Chicago for the foreseeable future but admits he can't say for sure which team he'll be suiting up for on the opening night of the 2016/17 campaign. 

"I don't think anything is for certain," the 26-year-old said. "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."

Any team with a player of the calibre of Butler would normally be pulling out all the stops to ensure he remains a key part of the team but, at this moment, even the best player on the Chicago roster is unsure about his future and what the plans of the franchise are.

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

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