Bulls' Jimmy Butler focuses on personal development, not personnel decisions

 To Jimmy Butler, his plan is always pretty simple and always comes back to the work.Attack his treatment so he can return from his bruised right heel as quickly as possible, which didn't happen for Monday's late tipoff against the Kings. Continue...

 Bulls' Jimmy Butler focuses on personal development, not personnel decisions

 To Jimmy Butler, his plan is always pretty simple and always comes back to the work.

Attack his treatment so he can return from his bruised right heel as quickly as possible, which didn't happen for Monday's late tipoff against the Kings. Continue his extra workout routines to help him continue his ascendancy and try to help his team win games.

Butler doesn't expend energy in areas outside of his control, which is why his answers regarding how management might approach the Feb. 23 trade deadline shouldn't surprise anyone.

"That's not my job, man. That's up to them," Butler said matter-of-factly. "My job is to get better every day, go out there and try to win games. I don't tell them what to do.

Jimmy Butler out for 2nd straight game vs. Kings K.C. Johnson

Jimmy Butler participated in the walkthrough portion of the Bulls' morning shootaround at Golden 1 Center but sat for a second straight game Monday night against the Kings.

Butler said the right heel contusion he suffered last Wednesday in Oklahoma City and sidelined him last Friday in Houston...

Jimmy Butler participated in the walkthrough portion of the Bulls' morning shootaround at Golden 1 Center but sat for a second straight game Monday night against the Kings.

Butler said the right heel contusion he suffered last Wednesday in Oklahoma City and sidelined him last Friday in Houston...

(K.C. Johnson)

"Like I said before, I don't move guys. That's not me. So whatever they decide to do as an organization ... we're all living with that and we're all riding with that. We all still have to go out there and try to win no matter the situation we're put in or the people they put here. I'll stay in my lane, play basketball."

Some separation has started to occur in the fluid Eastern Conference, with the Bulls starting Monday in seventh, five games behind the fifth-place Hawks. Their lead over the ninth-place Hornets stood at two games.

But despite his recent piggybacking onto Dwyane Wade's comments questioning certain teammates' commitment, Butler believes the Bulls as constructed have what it takes to make a run.

"Everybody is coming around," he said. "Right now, the way we're playing is good. We just need to get everybody healthy and everybody clicking and everybody moving. When I get back and Cris (Felicio) gets back, everybody is back in that rhythm and comfortable, we'll win."

Despite the Bulls' middling ways last seasons and this one, Butler reiterated his desire to remain in Chicago. He also said it doesn't bother him that management hasn't told him he's off limits in a trade, as Kings general manager Vlade Divac did to ESPN.com with DeMarcus Cousins on Monday.

"I don't care," Butler said. "I just want to hoop."

Does it surprise Butler that, despite three straight All-Star selections, there's a perception around the league that he's available for the right price?

"Nothing surprises me nowadays. Anything is possible," Butler said. "It's a business at the end of the day. I love it here. They know that. The city knows that."

When management traded Derrick Rose to the Knicks and signed Rajon Rondo and Wade in free agency, it significantly overhauled the roster. But it also kept the Bulls with one foot in each camp, trying to remain competitive and make the playoffs while developing the nine players with three years of experience or less.

"It's the way our roster is," coach Fred Hoiberg said. "I really like our veteran guys. They've been a good influence on guys just getting started in their careers.

"Look at the development of a guy like (Paul) Zipser, a guy we put in our rotation and now he's finishing games. Denzel (Valentine), he's had very good moments and looked really good in the Development League. Jerian (Grant) is a starter because of the way he fits with that first group. There are a lot of guys just getting started with their careers, and they'll only get better."

Whether that happens in time for the Bulls to make a playoff push is also out of Butler's control. He'll focus on being the best two-way player he can be.

kcjohnson@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @kcjhoop

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