Jimmy Butler eyes improved chemistry with D-Rose

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LAS VEGAS -- Jimmy Butler is tired of talking about his relationship with Derrick Rose, but does acknowledge that the pair's chemistry needs to be better heading into next season.

"I think we can," Butler said Wednesday on "The Waddle and Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000, when asked about his chemistry with Rose. "I think we will. And I think we better, because the way I look at it, I don't think either one of us is going anywhere anytime soon."

Butler's relationship with Rose has been a topic of conversation for Chicago Bulls fans this summer after reports surfaced after the season regarding an apparent rift between Butler and Rose. Butler has repeatedly brushed off those reports and did so again after Team USA's minicamp practice on Thursday.

"We didn't win," Butler said. "That's it. When you don't win, somebody's got to find something to blame it on."

Butler remains convinced that as soon as the Bulls start winning again next season, all of the talk about his relationship with Rose will fade away.

"Whenever we win, all of this is going right out the window," Butler said. "Whenever we start winning at the beginning of the season when we're going through everything, it's not an issue."

Butler, who earned his first All-Star berth last season and won the most improved player award, believes that he can be an even better leader next season alongside Rose.

"I think for me and Derrick, being our leaders, everybody else kind of falling in behind and leading in their own way," Butler said, "we're going to be all right."

In Butler's mind, becoming an even better leader is the next step in his development -- especially after signing a five-year max extension with the Bulls last month.

"I think that's the final one," Butler said. "Besides of course winning a championship, but the final step is to be the leader of this team. A team full of leaders -- but I have to be the one to step up and say something when things aren't going the way that they're supposed to go, when we're not practicing the right way, I think that's my job."