But a 28-29 record is not exactly mind-blowing. Nor is holding seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Never mind the fact that the fan base has allegedly started a “fire GarPax” campaign, directed at general manager Gar Forman and vice president John Paxson, a front office that seems to be incompetent at best.
Discount that head coach Fred Hoiberg not only has no apparent control of his team, but also continues to run a failing offensive strategy, not to mention all the turmoil happening between players themselves.
(Enter subtweeting and Instagram shade … )
So what does this all mean for the Bulls?
Well, ideally, it would lead to a total rebuild. Top-down. Management, coaching staff, roster and all. However, what is more likely to happen is a roster revamp. As long as the jobs of Forman and Paxson are secure, Hoiberg is probably not going anywhere either.
But the biggest question on everyone’s minds seems to be whether or not Butler will be traded.
On the one hand, the 27-year-old is playing some great basketball. Averaging 24.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists a game in 36.5 minutes of play, it could be argued that Butler is keeping the team afloat. And that is just what he does on the court.
Despite sometimes contributing to so-called locker room drama, it cannot be argued that Butler is bringing some much-needed positive attention to the franchise.
Being noticed league-wide as one of the top dogs, he certainly helps Chicago maintain its reputation of being one of the teams to watch in the East.
Plus, the city finally has a player to celebrate once again.
Something that has not exactly been the case since hometown hero Derrick Rose started to show his disinterest in the organization.
(What is better than Butler sharing the cover of ESPN Magazine with Chance The Rapper?)
Of course though, this all only adds to his trade value. Something that cannot be ignored, especially as the NBA trade deadline approaches.
The problem is, who could the Bulls look to receive for their superstar?
Unfortunately, the possibilities are not exactly endless.
At one point, there was talk of Butler (like Gibson) reuniting with former head coach Tom Thibodeau by way of the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, Zach LaVine‘s recent ACL tear seems to have put a stop to those discussions.
The other rumored front-runner are the Boston Celtics, who have been looking to make moves for quite some time now. But Butler is no run-of-the-mill player. And Chicago will certainly not accept just anyone for their forward.
That means Boston would have to offer up a packaged deal, more than likely containing the Brooklyn Nets’ pick in this year’s draft on top of a couple of their own guys. That’s not necessarily something that would work towards the goal of getting better, now.
(Or something that makes sense with an organization that is not known for their ability to develop talent.)
So what should the Bulls do?
There is no question that something has to give. Chicago will not be able to achieve success if they continue moving forward with the same old, same old.
However, as of now it seems like letting go of Butler would do more harm than good. Not just because of his high productivity level for Chicago, but because what he could bring to the table for another team, outdoes what the Bulls would be getting back in return.
This would only serve to propel a team like the Celtics forward, while Chicago could get eliminated from playoff contention all together.