Dwyane Wade, Bulls respond to Jimmy Butler trade rumors

Dwyane Wade, Bulls respond to Jimmy Butler trade rumors

Every week there seems to be some rumor of some kind involving the Chicago Bulls and ever-so-slightly, it’s starting to wear on Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg.

Whether it’s the combination of Hoiberg having to face questions about his job security several days ago or the latest one to hit the mill — a report about the Bulls listening to offers about Jimmy Butler — he broke the veneer he’s so carefully crafted since his arrival in Chicago.

“No. I’m not going to comment on the rumors,” Hoiberg said.

When asked if he was surprised, Hoiberg deviated from his usual tactic of cracking a quick joke to break the ice and seemed annoyed he has to address something seemingly every week.

“No, I’m not. I’m not surprised at all,” Hoiberg said. “Because that’s the world that we live in, unfortunately.”

He admitted the totality of it all can wear on someone or even his team, but insisted he won’t allow it to.

“It is what it is. It’s the world that we live in,” Hoiberg said. “You try to stay away from it as much as possible. Keep your head down, keep working. Again, I think we’ve made significant progress these last couple of weeks as a basketball team, winning four of six and having some really good wins in that stretch.”

Dwyane Wade believes it’s the market of Chicago that leads to such daily and weekly controversy.

“It's a big market. It's the Bulls. Our best player is in a rumor right now,” Wade said. “It doesn't matter. It's been a rumor every week but nothing has happened. It's a big market, something to talk about. A couple extra hits. It's the way the world works, the world we're in. Someone decided to write something with no merit. And if it does have merit, way to be first in line for the scoop.”

Dwyane Wade joked he’s never been involved in a trade rumor and stated there’s a few untouchables around the NBA.

“James Harden don't have a price, Russell Westbrook don't have a price, LeBron James don't have a price. Steph Curry don't…,” Wade said. “There's certain guys at this point, this moment, don't have a price. At some point, everybody got a price and depending on when. Dwyane Wade didn't have a price at one point.”

He didn’t forget his teammate, the guy who scored 52 one night and closed out the Cavaliers two nights later with a 14-point fourth quarter.

“In my mind, he doesn't. I think he's the cornerstone of this franchise,” Wade said. “He's the reason I'm here. The reason we're winning games, Not in my mind but it's not my decision.”

[LISTEN: Bulls Talk Podcast discusses Jimmy Butler trade rumors]

Although the two are obviously close and Wade being much more experienced than Butler, he said he wouldn’t give the rumors life by talking to his teammate about it.

“For what? Who wrote an article? Somebody wrote an article? Who cares. Like I said, you can control what you can control,” Wade said. “You can’t control somebody waking up one day and wanting to stir something up in Chicago and write an article.”

It’s the two-way street of the NBA, he believes.

“The only thing you can do is bring your butt in here and work, and if they call you and say, ‘Hey, you’ve been moved.’ Shake their hand and you say, ‘Thank you for everything,’ and you leave,” Wade said. “I always told my teammates, because you never know what’s going to happen in this league, you never know where you’re going to be, stay professional. Just like you have your opportunities in free agency and stuff like that to decide where you want to go, they have opportunities to move you. There’s nothing you can do about it. So don’t listen to it. It’s the time of the year where everybody’s name is being thrown in a hat, and most of it don’t even happen.’’

With the rumors being so prevalent from one thing to another, Hoiberg said he discusses it with his team at times.

“We talk a little but about it, but we don't spend a lot of time talking about it. But yeah, there are moments,” he said. “I'll say this. Going back to my days in the front office, you're always talking to other teams, you're always making calls. You talk about your roster, People throw things against the wall all the time.”

Hoiberg was an assistant GM with the Timberwolves for a short time before going to the college ranks at Iowa State.

“I was a guy that made a lot of calls. So you do that stuff all the time,” he said. “You do your due diligence on other teams and rosters and throw things out there; 99 percent of them have no legs and you move on, but that is the job. You do call every other team in the league and you talk. That's what that job's about.”

Dwyane Wade tweets apology to fans after Bulls' lopsided loss in Atlanta

Dwyane Wade tweets apology to fans after Bulls' lopsided loss in Atlanta

For the opening three quarters in Atlanta, the Bulls were off. 

So off, in fact, that Dwyane Wade tweeted an apology to Chicago fans after the game. 

Thanks to a furious run by the Bulls' bench, the final score ended at a respectable 102-93. In reality, though, the Hawks dominated. 

Wade and company trailed by 29 points at half and 30 at the end of three. The 35-year-old shooting guard finished with a minus-18 and just four points while All-Star starter Jimmy Butler posted a team-low minus-22.

The Bulls will look to shake off their lopsided loss against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. 

 

Fred Hoiberg after Bulls' embarrassing loss to Hawks: 'We're gonna look at everything'

Fred Hoiberg after Bulls' embarrassing loss to Hawks: 'We're gonna look at everything'

The bus was warm before the game started, as the Bulls looked like they wanted no parts of the Atlanta Hawks.

It was evident from the jump that playing with a full and healthy squad for one of the few times this season wasn't enough to arouse their competitive juices, as they put together arguably their worst 48-minute showing in a 102-93 loss at Philips Arena, dropping them to 21-23 in a game they trailed by as many as 34 points.

The practices have apparently been the sterling jewel of effort and competitiveness for the Bulls but it hasn't carried over through the season as the inconsistency continues to be maddening — one that seems to go beyond the "growing pains" mantra that's been fed by all involved so far this year.

"It could be things but I don't want to share it with the media," a sunglasses-clad Dwyane Wade said outside the locker room, in a rare mood of not being elaborative following a loss.

It appears even the professional's professional has gotten a bit more frustrated than usual — understandable considering the way the starters came out with a lack of energy, with more turnovers (eight) than field goals (six) in the first quarter.

"Continue to try to lead behind the scenes," Wade said. "Can't stop when it's bad, when it's good. You gotta be the same."

Fred Hoiberg, fed up with the starters, ran with the reserves for the fourth quarter and outscored the Hawks by nearly 25 points, bringing the lead to 95-90 with a minute left before a Dennis Schroeder jumper restored order with 52.6 seconds left.

Four Hawks scored in double figures led by Schroeder's 25 points and six assists and Paul Millsap scoring 14 while making all four of his shots in just 22 minutes of run.

[MORE BULLS: Dwyane Wade not buying into the Bosh to Bulls speculation]

Perhaps it's the Hawks being the same kryptonite to the Bulls that the Bulls are to the Toronto Raptors — except the Bulls simply frustrate the Raptors, not embarrass them.

"I have been, we have been, tired of this. I gotta come out better," said Jimmy Butler, who led the Bulls with 19 points in 29 minutes. "I gotta play better from the jump, 48 minutes. That's not the way we're supposed to play. 

"The way we practice is not the way we play in the game. Don't ask me why, I don't know. Starting with me and going down the line, we gotta be better as a whole. Otherwise we'll keep getting our asses beat and it's bad."

The Hawks shot over 60 percent for most of the night until the game devolved into what amounted to a pickup game late. After all, the Hawks seemed to be battling boredom by half, leading 65-36 and shooting 68 percent from the field and hitting 67 percent from three.

"We're gonna look at everything and we'll see how we go out and start tomorrow and a couple days after that, hopefully we figure some things out," Hoiberg said. "They shot over 70 percent in the first quarter and you dig yourselves a hole and it's impossible to get out."

Hoiberg said he would evaluate everything leading into Saturday's game at home against the Sacramento Kings, but Friday didn't seem to present any realistic lineup changes based on performance.

Bobby Portis scored 10 with seven rebounds off the bench, with Jerian Grant scoring 12 and Paul Zipser 10. Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic combined to shoot two for nine, so one wonders where Hoiberg can go.

"I don't know. Practice is good. Practice is great," Butler said. "Practice is not gonna win you games. We gotta take what we do in practice and take it over to the game."

The Bulls weren't about to make it any more suspenseful than it had to be, as they started off missing their first 11 3-pointers, often missing multiple open looks on the same possession.

It wasn't relegated to just shooting as the Bulls squandered easy opportunities in easy situations, like Denzel Valentine turning a three-on-one fast break into an airballed finger-roll attempt that he caught himself — a violation, of course.

"I don't know, I can't put a word on it. Because it's just talk," Butler said. "Doesn't matter what you say, if we don't go out there and do it, what the hell is talking gonna do? We've been up and down all year. If we don't guard and turn the ball over, games get out of hand very quickly."

This one was over a few minutes into it, as the Bulls looked like a lifeless squad with no direction and very little fight, short of a minor dustup between Dwight Howard and Robin Lopez in the third quarter.

At that point, though, all Howard had to do is point at the scoreboard, where a 30-point lead did all the necessary talking.

The Bulls trailed by 20 even before Tim Hardaway Jr. hit a 35-footer to end the first quarter, sending the Hawks off on a high and seemingly demoralizing the Bulls.

Even Butler's 19-point night, hitting six of his eight shots in 29 minutes, rang hollow. The Bulls could've trotted out a D-League team for the second half to gear up for Saturday's game against Sacramento and been better off than how they performed Friday night.

And for the Bulls, they can't simply just go back to the drawing board. There looks to be something fundamentally wrong with this bunch — either that, or the Atlanta night got the best of them Thursday.