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Jimmy Butler: Not mad at Bulls but wish some things handled differently

In his first interview since Thursday night's blockbuster trade, All-Star Jimmy Butler told the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday that he's not mad at the Bulls but does wish certain things were handled better by the organization leading up to the deal.

Butler's name had been rumored in trade talks for much of the last year. Chicago opted to pull the trigger Thursday night, sending the face of its franchise and the 16th pick of the draft (Creighton center Justin Patton) to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and the No. 7 pick (Arizona 7-footer Lauri Markkanen).

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"I guess being called the face of an organization isn't as good as I thought," Butler, 27, told the Sun-Times from Paris, where he first learned of the trade. "We all see where being the so-called face of the Chicago Bulls got me. So let me be just a player for the Timberwolves, man. That's all I want to do. I just want to be winning games. Do what I can for my respective organization and let them realize what I'm trying to do.

"Whatever they want to call me ... face ... I don't even want to get into that anymore. Whose team is it? All that means nothing. You know what I've learned? Face of the team, eventually you're going to see the back of his head as he's leaving town, so no thanks.''

Speaking after the NBA draft Thursday night, Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson called it a "hard" decision to move Butler, "a guy we really like." But Paxon said by making the move, the organization "set a direction" of going "with young players."

To Butler, the build-up to the deal -- with his name in rumors involving teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Timberwolves -- before one was finally consummated while he was on vacation showed him how "crazy" the business side of the NBA is.

"I mean I had so many people telling me what could possibly happen, but I just got to the point where I stopped paying attention to it," Butler told the Sun-Times.

"You can't get mad at anybody. I'm not mad, I'm not. I just don't like the way some things were handled, but it's OK.''

Paxson said the Bulls were upfront with their three-time All-Star.

"We've been honest with Jimmy when we've sat him down and talked to him, we've been honest with him," he said. "We do that with every player."

As for his much-discussed relationship with Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, Butler told the Sun-Times: "Fred had the same objective that I did. He wanted to win. I do agree that we go about it differently, but I don't care what anyone thinks about me as a basketball player. I have no bad things to say about Fred at all."

His new coach in Minnesota will be the man Hoiberg replaced in Chicago, Tom Thibodeau.

Butler said he looks forward to reuniting with his former coach and believes the Timberwolves are going "to be the toughest team that takes the floor every night."

"I love to be challenged by my coaches,'' Butler told the Sun-Times. "I mean I feel like I've talked so much about how I love Thibs and respect what he does, going back to my rookie year. I mean he's done so much for me. It's great to be back with a guy like that. The guy knows how to win. I know his style of play and I feel like I'll fit in with that core that they have over there."

Source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/19720542/jimmy-butler-wishes-chicago-bulls-handled-some-things-better

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