"Rebound by one of the big guys... Divac, I think... Hands off to one of the little guards... The big guy with the beard passes off to the little lefty... Boy, I'm having trouble with these names."- Johnny Most
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.
Jimmy Butler SG/SF, 6’7, 220lbs, 27 years old, 6 years of experience
An elite talent, the scale and nature of whose offensive development is very rarely seen within an NBA career. Butler has risen to true star status and improves each season, bettering his three-point shooting and durability in 2016/17, while increasing his assist rate and reducing his turnover rate. Butler has been prone to stopping the ball at times and taking some bad shots, perhaps in part due to a lack of trust in the team that was around him, which is understandable considering both the talent gap between he and they and the rate of roster turnover. Nevertheless, entering his prime, he is the kind of player one can build around in the short and medium terms. The kind of star player you trade a lot for. Unless you don’t have to, of course.
Player Plan: Three years and circa. $58.4 million remaining, with the final year as a player option (by which time he will be below market value and highly likely to opt out). His free agency will be a legitimate test of the team’s pedigree and of the true value of their future. Then again, that’s two years away. For now, it’s his job to get them somewhere.
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.