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Butler smiled through his brief postgame chat with reporters and said neither the turmoil nor the bench role affected his play. “Disengaged? Nah. It was a little different,” he said. “I was still into it. I knew what I was supposed to be doing. I still took the shots I always take. That’s fine. “I’ll be back. I promise. I’m not worried about it at all.
Nick Friedell: Butler says he will still go to “war” with Rondo. Says he’ll prepare the same way he always does.
Vincent Goodwill: Butler: it can go one or two ways. Get better and win or sit and lost. If we win its a good thing. If we lose it wasn’t
KC Johnson: Butler said he didn’t read Rondo’s post.
People who know Rondo believe he can still be a starter in Chicago, but it can’t be with the current group. “Rajon has to play with guys who are more suited to the way he plays,” one person close to him said. “If he’s with some shooters and some slashers, he’ll be fine. They’ll be fine. I think he and Butler can play together, and maybe Wade and Butler can play together. But he and Wade and Butler can’t play together.”
It’s tough to make hard and fast judgments from preseason games, but there is some serious doubt around the NBA regarding Chicago’s constellation of All-Stars. Adding Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo to Jimmy Butler looks good on paper, but they will have to tweak their games to make the band sing in tune. “Rondo, Wade and Butler are all ball-stoppers,” an opposing executive said. “None of them are great cutters or guys that move without the ball. They’re all isolation-type players. They’re all very good players, but it doesn’t seem to be a good fit.”
KC Johnson: Jimmy Butler: “But I’m not going to take a step backward because I have new players on my team. I’m going to still be aggressive. I’ll still guard. I’ll have a voice in the locker room. I’ll say what needs to be said. What I want them guys to do whenever I’m on some bulls**t, I want them to tell me. I want you to say my name, man to man.”
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June 23, 2017 | 7:26 pm EDT Update
As expected, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, a five-time All-Star forward, has exercised the early termination option on his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told The Vertical.
Griffin, 28, is a cornerstone player for the Clippers, a priority for them to re-sign this summer. Boston, Houston and Miami are among multiple possible free-agent destinations for Griffin, who’ll also consider returning to the Clippers.