Butler, who has been dealing with a fever and body aches, did not participate in Monday's shootaround and left Monday's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the third quarter because he wasn't feeling well. He was sent home and will not travel with the Bulls to Washington, D.C. His status for Thursday's game against the New York Knicks remains unclear.
"Sickness is going around in the NBA," Wade said. "It's very tough to muster up the energy that you need. And a player like Jimmy who gives everything that he has, it's tough for him ... He's real sick. We didn't get a lot of chance to talk to him ... you can just tell. Like Coach said, whenever you see guys fighting through stuff ... in the locker room, you appreciate it."
Butler finished the game 0-for-6 from the field and did not look like his usual aggressive self on the floor in 29 minutes of play, scoring just one point. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, Butler is the first player in NBA history to score one or fewer points (minimum of 20 minutes) after scoring 40 or more points the game before. Butler scored 42 points in Saturday's win over the Toronto Raptors.
"You want him to be smart," Wade said. "That would be my message to him. We obviously need him in every game. But we need him to be healthy and be Jimmy Butler to go out there and do the things he do. Tonight it's going to be critical for him to take care of himself and his body."
Wade will travel with the Bulls to Washington, D.C., but he will rest on the second night of a back-to-back. This will mark the third time this season Wade has missed a game for rest. He also missed a Jan. 2 win over the Charlotte Hornets because of knee swelling.
Bulls rookie Denzel Valentine missed his third straight game because of an ankle injury, but he sounded optimistic at Monday's shootaround that he would play again soon. It will be interesting to see if coach Fred Hoiberg uses veteran Rajon Rondo against the Wizards on Tuesday. Rondo has not played since being benched in the second half of a Dec. 30 loss to the Indiana Pacers.