Yet another Bulls player hints that maybe he should be elsewhere
ORLANDO, Fla. — Bulls point guard Michael Carter-Williams didn’t take the news well.
As a matter of fact, coach Fred Hoiberg’s decision to bench him before the Bulls’ 100-92 victory Tuesday against the Orlando Magic caught Carter-Williams completely off-guard.
‘‘Obviously, I wasn’t the happiest person in the world,’’ Carter-Williams said. ‘‘It is what it is. I just gotta stay the course. [Hoiberg’s] kind of been doing that all year, so it is what it is at this point.’’
Hoiberg decided to go with Jerian Grant in the starting lineup and kept Rajon Rondo as the backup.
It was quite a fall for Carter-Williams, considering he was named the starter over Rondo at the start of the month and averaged 8.7 points and 2.5 assists in that role.
Carter-Williams was asked whether players should be concerned that Hoiberg still is searching for the right combinations 46 games into the season. His answer hinted he might be better off elsewhere.
‘‘It is kind of frustrating,’’ Carter-Williams said of the uncertainty with the lineup from game to game. ‘‘But as a player, you’ve just got to stay the course, keep getting better each day. Hopefully you get your [playing] time. If it’s not one team, maybe it’s another.’’
Carter-Williams isn’t the first Bulls player to hint that he might be better off elsewhere. Rondo talked with management early in the month about a possible trade now that he’s no longer a starter. He hasn’t backed down from that demand, either.
‘‘I think everybody pretty much has that mind-set if they were in that position,’’ Carter-Williams said. ‘‘Some people have more luxury to say it than others.’’
Hoiberg reiterated that nothing is permanent with this team. Playing well in practice might earn Carter-Williams his playing time back.
‘‘Obviously, in situations where you get a starting spot taken away, the guy is not going to love it,’’ Hoiberg said. ‘‘You don’t expect them to. The big thing is to go out there in a different situation and different role and play your butt off and try to work your way back into the top spot.
‘‘For me, I’ve always said it’s not about who starts the game; it’s about who finishes the game. That’s much more important.’’
Grant finished with seven points against the Magic. The Bulls (23-23) were led by Dwyane Wade’s 21 points and Jimmy Butler’s 20.
The Wade plan
Wade has been no stranger to sitting out the back end of back-to-back games this season, but that won’t be the case when the Bulls host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday at the United Center. Wade said he would play, even after logging nearly 34 minutes against the Magic.
‘‘I’m not hampering anything,’’ Wade said when he was asked how he felt. ‘‘It’s been working. We’ve been doing a good job trying to take care of my body.’’
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