The Cleveland Cavaliers got a whole lot better yesterday when they agreed to a trade that will net them All-Star Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves. But Jimmy Butler isn't worried.
The Bulls shooting guard stopped by the Bulls/Sox Academy on Friday to speak with a few of the camps going on, and he admitted that while Cleveland becomes a tougher team with Love in the mix to go with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, the Bulls are confident in their own group.
"They're just another force we're going to have to go through," Butler said, referring to James' Cavaliers squad. "I don't think anybody plays this game to lose, that's for sure. I think we can beat anybody at any given time and I'm excited, I'm looking forward to it."
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The Bulls missed out on Carmelo Anthony and couldn't put together a trade package equal to Cleveland's to make a true run at Kevin Love, but Tom Thibodeau's group didn't come away empty-handed over the summer, either. Pau Gasol and rookies Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott enter the fold on what should be a much deeper group and more perimeter-oriented offense. There's also the former MVP, Derrick Rose, returning healthy that has Butler confident the Bulls, under Thibodeau's guidance, can compete with the best of the best.
"We're ready for whatever," he said. "As long as we play the type of ball that we're capable of playing, and just stick to how hard that we play, I think we're going to be great as long as we stay healthy."
Butler enjoyed a breakout year in 2013-14, averaging 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals in nearly 39 minutes per game. He was named to the All-NBA defensive second team and will again start on a Bulls team that should go toe-to-toe in the Eastern Conference with James' Cavaliers.
"My role's going to be to help win games, whether it's on offense, on defense, on the bench cheering, whatever it may be," he explained. "I think that's all of our jobs, all of our role is help bring this city a championship."