Jimmy Butler Deserves More Playing Time For Chicago Bulls
Butler is one of those players that does a lot of things well, isn’t great at any of them. He’s a decent shooter, solid athlete, plus defender, and decent passer. What the 6’7″ forward from Marquette does have is a high basketball IQ and appears to make the right play more times than not.
Last season as a rookie Butler was buried on the Bulls bench behind Luol Deng and only played eight minutes per game, averaging just 2.6 points. This season Butler has seen his minutes increase to 23 a night and has tripled his scoring output up to 7.6 points per game and 3.6 rebounds. Butler has been even more impressive as a starter. In seven games in the starting lineup Butler is putting up 15.3 points and 8.9 rebounds while making 32 of 34 free throws, which is a .941 clip.
The Bulls will have some decisions to make this summer. Deng is still owed a ton of money over the next two seasons but Butler may be too good of a player to keep in a reserve role for much longer. Chicago will have to consider trading Deng and going with the less expensive Butler or giving Butler a shot at the shooting guard position to see if he can develop the perimeter skills to remain there. The best move for the Bulls would be to trade Deng for assets and cap space this summer and pass the position along to the younger, more affordable Butler