Jimmy Butler believes Derrick Rose will win games for the Knicks next season

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The New York Knicks appear to be on the up after the acquisition of Derrick Rose and the reported fresh interest Kevin Durant has in joining the franchise.

But the Big Apple isn't the only place where it's all change. The Chicago Bulls are entering a new era after over a decade of playoff contention, and trading away Rose is the start of that.

Jimmy Butler remains in the Windy City, for the time being, after much speculation surrounded his future approaching draft night.

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Many believed there was a chemistry issue between Rose and Butler that prevented the Bulls from being the true contenders they should have been.

Both men are ball-dominant players, and given their vast array of combined talents, there is no reason why they shouldn't have been one of the most potent backcourt duos in the league.

However, speaking after meeting up with Team USA in New York, Butler seemed to harbour genuine admiration for his former backcourt partner and he believes the Knicks will be a different proposition next year.

“Obviously, I wish him the best moving forward,’’ said Butler. “I know he’s going to help New York win games, man. He’s a hell of a player.’’

“You already know what guys bring to the table anyway,’’ Butler said. “I know [Carmelo’s] excited. I think [Derrick’s] going to win them games. As excited as I am for [Rose], I got to figure out how to win games in Chicago.”

When asked whether he was consulted about Rose's trade, Butler gave a concise answer before denying their chemistry was an issue once again.

“Above my paygrade,’’ Butler said.

“Just because we didn’t win like everyone expected,’’ he added of the chemistry accusation. “That’s what happens when you don’t win. That’s what you base it on. We’re two very good players.

“We were injured — on and off the floor. Call it whatever you want. We just didn’t get the job done.”

The Bulls have clearly given Butler the keys to the kingdom with Rose in the rearview mirror and the veteran duo of Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol both seemingly departing the Bulls' frontcourt in free agency.

Butler has shown he is a true two-way man in the NBA and can ostensibly become the cornerstone of virtually any franchise. However, acquisitions like Jerian Grant, Robin Lopez (not Brook, Fred Hoiberg) and Jose Calderon will not restore Chicago to their Michael Jordan-inspired former glory.

The moves they make in free agency will have a profound effect on their immediate fortunes. Selecting Denzel Valentine with the 14th pick in the NBA Draft was a good start, but who they manage to pick up on the open market will decide if this is just a reconfiguration, or the complete rebuild many anticipate.

Joakim Noah
Chicago Bulls
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose
Pau Gasol
New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Carmelo Anthony

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