Marquette's other leader is Jimmy Butler, a quirky sort of a chap who has been working to expand his interior game into that of a more conventional small forward. He is having some success at this, too. The jumpshot is still flat, awkward, and not great, but it has started to go in. The dribble-drive game and ability/desire to get to the free throw is as good as ever. The perimeter defense has improved, as has the ball handling, and the rebounding has not suffered. Butler's unique game is dependent on craft rather than athleticism, and he can score in isolation, giving Marquette a forward option that can do this to serve as a compliment to DJO's guard isolation.
Pick 30: With the last pick of the first round, Chicago takes Jimmy Butler from Marquette, a fairly athletic slashing small forward converted from a power forward. This still does not address the two guard situation. But Michael Redd still could. (I put the chances of Chicago signing Redd this offseason at around 60%, if he is healthy.)
Butler's highlight montage and scouting report is put on hold for a brief description of his life story, a human interest story, which includes homelessness and an unofficial foster family. The selection of Butler is perhaps a reach for Chicago - Butler is not really a first round talent, a quirky but underwhelming role player without even the physical tools of someone such as Linton Johnson. That said, Chicago traded away their second round pick to Minnesota, so this was the only way to get their guy.
Stu Scott's trivia sheet says that Butler faxed in his letter of intent to commit to Marquette from McDonalds. What kind of McDonald's has a fax machine?
Jimmy Butler - Butler's made some waves lately for his "story," which can be read here. That feel-good piece doesn't make Butler any better, but it does make him more popular. His quirky offensive game, somewhat described here, is not necessarily conducive to the NBA, yet it hasn't held him back so far, a 16 ppg scorer in the Big East without needing good range or good physical tools to do it. Talent is talent, and talent translates. Donnell Harvey churned out a few years, and so may Jimmy Butler.
As I have written about many times this season, getting good and staying good are two different facets of team building that are as important as each other. The Bulls got good, but due to injuries, have not been able to stay good - nonetheless, they are uniquely positioned to be able to get good again very quickly. In between Nikola Mirotic (arguably the best player in Europe), Jimmy Butler (a player whose poor start to this season belies his versatility and effectiveness), and the still outstanding first round draft pick from the Charlotte Bobcats, the Bulls are already armed with an incredibly strong core for the future. Add to that the returning Rose (to some standard to be determined), Tony Snell, this year's first round pick and an apexing frontcourt duo of Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah, the Bulls can be a 55 win team again very soon, for less than the cost of the previous 55 win team, with more youth, and better health.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.