Bulls player preview: Jimmy Butler

Bulls player preview: Jimmy Butler

With fans preparing for the upcoming NBA season, let's further analyze each Chicago Bull to gauge what kind of impact they could have as the team looks to reach the next level. You can also check out the player previews for Omer Asik, C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, Taj Gibson, Brian Scalabrine, John Lucas III and Luol Deng.

Player: Jimmy Butler (G/F)

Age: 22
$1.02 million

How did he perform last season?: Butler averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals for Marquette in his senior season. The Bulls loved his work ethic and commitment to defense, selecting the 6-foot-7 swingman with the 30th pick in last June's draft.

Areas for improvement: Many believe that Butler has to work on his jump shot and possibly get a little stronger, although both will come with experience. Unfortunately for Butler, the lockout prevented him from playing on the Bulls' summer league team and in a complete training camp.

Expectations for 2011-12 season: It's certainly not easy to be a rookie on a title contending squad, but Butler appears to be up to the task. He has a mountain to climb and needs to keep giving coach Tom Thibodeau reasons to play him once the regular season starts on Christmas Day. Butler scored eight points on 3-for-3 shooting in the preseason opener against the Indiana Pacers on Friday. If Butler wants the crack the rotation for the real games, he will have to build on his debut. Many Bulls fans are expecting Butler to play only a few minutes per game, which is a good bet, given that it's unreasonable to look for a first-year player to have a major role on an established team. But he should get opportunities to spell Luol Deng and Kyle Korver throughout the compressed 66-game schedule that contains 17 back-to-back sets, and one back-to-back-to-back, for the Bulls. He also will give Thibodeau another defender to throw at Miami Heat star LeBron James.


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  • ** Comes from a good program with a coach who stressed defense.
    ** Appeared very poised and confident in the 1st preseason game - esp. when playing on the road.
    ** Neither Korver or Brewers contracts are guaranteed next year. Butler showing well in limited minutes (with DRose's max deal kicking in) may be a plus for cap/luxury tax considerations.
    ** As you said, given 66 games in 126 days there will be minutes.

    Is next year's draft when we FINALLY get the Charlotte pick?

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