1. Jimmy Butler
This might be the most obvious pick for regretful decisions made during the GarPax era. Jimmy Butler, a budding star who had already amassed All-Defensive team selections, a Most Improved Player award, and even an All-NBA Third-Team pick, was involved in a trade that might have the highest impact on the roster today.
This trade sent over a disappointment in Kris Dunn, a future starter in Lauri Markkanen, and most importantly the Chicago Bulls’ current max player in Zach LaVine. Despite this, Jimmy Butler’s performances like the one on Monday add to the regret that Bulls fans face.
Games like Jimmy Butler’s 56-point performance in Game 4 against the Bucks make Chicago Bulls fans wonder what could have been.
Jimmy Butler has a history of being a winning player but has never had a better roster when he loses. Butler has led each of his three teams since leaving Chicago, and in more recent seasons he has seen immense success. He led the Philadelphia 76ers to the Eastern Conference Semifinals where they were knocked out by one of the most memorable shots in recent NBA history: Kawhi Leonard’s game 7 buzzer beater.
After that, Jimmy Butler found his way to the Miami Heat, where he went on a ridiculous playoff run in the 2020 bubble. This included instances where he would single-handedly will his team to victory, as he did in both a 35-point and 40-point triple-double in the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Monday’s showing gave the Bulls a reminder that even at 33 years old, Jimmy G Buckets (The G stands for Gets) still has the killer instinct to be a superstar in the league. If the Bulls were able to keep him in Chicago, they might have been playing for much higher stakes in recent years.