‘Three Alphas’ sound like they want second year with Bulls
The last few weeks have brought some clarity to the Bulls’ front office, which was facing some tough questions a month ago.
First, there’s point guard Rajon Rondo, who was on the trade block several times during the season and projected to be elsewhere next season.
Since regaining his starting spot, he has shown management that he’s still a quality player. Besides, the front office’s “point guards of the future’’ aren’t ready to walk, let alone run.
Rondo made his wishes obvious Tuesday, insisting he wants the team to pick up his $13.3 million option for next season and give this core another waltz together.
Then there’s Dwyane Wade, who has a $23.8 million player option for the 2017-18 season. He still wasn’t ready to discuss his intentions, however.
But making the playoffs — despite all the dysfunction — has him thinking differently about his immediate future.
“You play the 82 games to learn a little bit about yourself,’’ Wade said. “And one thing I learned about this team is that through adverse situations, it sticks together. We had adversity, as every team has, and that’s the thing that’s made us closer and stronger together.
“The credit for this team sticking together through injuries, through everything, putting ourselves in a position to make the playoffs, it goes to everyone, from the coaching staff to the leaders to the young guys. Everyone did it together.’’
Revealingly, Wade never mentioned the front office.
Which leads us to Jimmy Butler, who has one wish for the offseason: He wants general manager Gar Forman to keep his name out of trade talks.
Privately, Butler has made it known that he’ll have a sit-down with Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson to let them know he has earned the right to be embraced by the organization and that he’s tired of popping up in trade rumors every summer.
The Bulls’ most interesting decision, however, could involve Nikola Mirotic. Do they let him walk or keep him around?
Mirotic wants to stay in Chicago, but the Bulls might not be able to match the market price.
Keeping it simple
Butler said he’s not letting the big stage of the playoffs change his game.
“It’s really simple: When I’m open, I normally shoot the ball,’’ Butler said. “Sometimes when I’m not open, I also shoot the ball. But most of the time, I pass it to the open guy. And when they’re making shots, my job is a lot easier.
“People can’t load up on me, and then on top of everything else, [Wade and Rondo] do a lot of that, as well. When they’re attacking, they’re aggressive, they’re getting people involved, as well.’’
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