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Jimmy Butler.

Jimmy Butler on Chicago Bulls exit: "It was either me or Fred Hoiberg"

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The Chicago Bulls took the decision to move into a rebuilding phase over the summer and traded franchise player Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

As well as the All-Star, the Bulls also waived Rajon Rondo and agreed a buyout with veteran Dwyane Wade as they clearly signaled their intentions for this season.

In the trade with the Timberwolves, they acquired young pieces such as Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkannen - who they selected with Minnesota's number five pick in the draft.

In a recent interview with ESPN, Butler opened up about his departure from Chicago and explained why the franchise had to make the decision to let him move on.

"I probably went about a lot of things the wrong way," Butler told ESPN's Sam Alipour. "People don't work as hard as I do but expect the same things out of the game as I do. That's my fault and I've learned from that.

"I said from the beginning: It was either going to be me or the Fred Hoiberg route, and rightfully so. They took Fred, so good for them."

The move to Minneapolis reunited the All-NBA guard with his former Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau, the man who gave him his league debut.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Chicago Bulls

The tough coaching style of Thibs helped the 28-year-old develop into one of the best two-way players in the league.

When the Bulls fired Thibodeau and replaced him with Hoiberg, it created friction as Butler grew frustrated with his coaching style and reportedly implored him to "coach harder".

But the three-time All-Star is now back with his former coach and in a winning situation with the Timberwolves who are looking to end a 13-year playoff drought.

The Olympic Gold Medalist is no longer concerned with matters in the Windy City but he's definitely looking forward to his first game back at the United Center.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Miami Heat

"I got that game marked on my calendar. February 9 baby, I'm back," he said.

The former Marquette product endured a frustrating game last night as the T-Wolves suffered a heavy 125-101 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. He ended the game with just 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting.

Butler has taken on more of a supporting role with his new team and has seen his numbers drop slightly as a result as he's averaging 14.7 points per game compared to his career-high 23.9 last season.

Topics:
Jimmy Butler
Chicago Bulls
Central Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
Andrew Wiggins
Minnesota Timberwolves
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Karl-Anthony Towns

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