Bulls Player Grades: Jimmy Butler

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Jimmy Buckets. This was the break out season we didn’t see coming. But when Luol Deng first went out hurt in January and Butler stepped into the starting lineup, we got to see that this kid could play. But it was the playoffs where Butler really showed us that he is the starting shooting guard of the Bulls’ future that we’ve been waiting for. Carrying the team at times, playing 48 minutes in 3 straight games, and guarding the other team’s best player in all of those games (Deron Williams, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade). We knew Butler was a great defender, showing us flashes of that last season when he became the Bulls’ “Carmelo stopper”. But he took his offensive game to the next level, adding a mid range jump shot and a three point shot to a lightening fast drive game. Given his jump from last year to this year and his exceptional work ethic, expect another nice jump from him next year as he likely takes his place next to Derrick Rose starting in the backcourt. This was a tough season, but Butler was one of the bright spots. And his emergence give the Bulls a lot of new roster flexibility going into the next few seasons. Grade: A-

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