Jimmy Butler said he doesn't know much about Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow, the new Bulls who are scheduled to take physicals this afternoon and may or may not be available for Friday's home game against the Suns.
Butler always focuses on what he can control, which is why he works on his game and tunes out his name in trade talks or management not fully committing to building around him.
"No organization is the same. Everybody operates differently. Everybody has different personnel. I don’t care if anybody wants to build around me. Just win," Butler said.
"At the end of the day, when you win, everything is fine whether you’re built around or not built around. Everybody’s happy. All of that is just background noise. I just want to win at all costs."
The new-look Bulls will start Bobby Portis at power forward and feature Denzel Valentine in the rotation. Paul Zipser remains out with an ankle injury, and coach Fred Hoiberg said Rajon Rondo will remain in the backup point guard role for now.
The Bulls have five point guards. When Payne, who is the centerpiece of the trade from the Bulls' perspective, gets up to speed, Hoiberg said he'll play whoever gives him the best chance to win.
As for Butler, he reiterated his desire to remain in Chicago and, at least publicly, expressed faith in the front office.
"Right now this is the organization I’m going to be with, these are the guys I want to compete with, coaches I want to play for. That’s all I can really focus on," Butler said. "When everything else comes up then we’ll worry about that, but right now I ain’t going anywhere baby."
Butler didn't worry much about the trade rumors. The Bulls and Celtics re-kindled trade talks centered on Butler that started last June, although sources said the Celtics added unknown protections on the 2017 first-round pick they own from the Nets.
"You can always be moved," Butler said. "C’mon, I’m just here, came in, I practiced really well. I enjoyed my (All-Star) break. So I’m in high spirits right now. Obviously, I miss my guys, those two. It hasn’t set in that they’re my enemy now. But I think it will whenever we have to go against each other."
That's in reference to the departed Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott. Again, Butler is focused on what he can control, not whether he feels the front office is showing loyalty to him.
"I think I have one job to do and it’s not to worry about whether someone is loyal or not. It’s to go out there and hoop," Butler said. "I think they’re going to put us in the best position possible to win games here. I think they’re doing that. What they’re doing is what they believe is right for this team. Our job is to go out there and make it work. Win games to the best or our ability. Loyalty, no loyalty, go out there and compete."
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