NBA Draft 2011: Is Jimmy Butler the Answer for the Chicago Bulls?
Butler is standing on the doorstep of his next big trial.
Many people inside the Chicago Bulls organization believe that Butler could help the Bulls take another step forward towards achieving their ultimate goal: Win the next NBA championship.
He's Ready To Do the Dirty Work
Shortly after being drafted, Jimmy Butler stepped up and said that he was going to be the man to guard LeBron and Wade.
His defense is very impressive, and he has a great work ethic, but will that be enough to stop (or even slow down) two of the world's best players?
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, coach Tom Thibodeau said:
"He's a wing. I think he has the ability to play both spots. Those two spots are very interchangeable with us. We're comfortable with that. And if there's a small range-shooting power forward, he can handle that. He did that a lot in college. We think he has great feet. He can guard big guys, small guys. The first step will be for him to contribute in practice."
High praise from the NBA Coach of the Year.
How Much Time Will He Get?
The Bulls have one of the better small forwards in the league already in Luol Deng. And they are known to be actively pursuing an upgrade over the Ronnie Brewer/Corey Brewer combination.
If the Bulls do end up signing or trading for a shooting guard like Jamal Crawford or Aaron Afflalo, where will that leave Butler?
Butler will no doubt receive playing time during his career, but getting substantial minutes on the court could be crucial to his development.
But the Bulls seem primed to win right now. Can they afford to let their rookie learn on the court during a playoff run?
How Will He Mesh?
Jimmy Butler is no doubt a humble player. Every article I have read about him makes him sound like a very well-mannered, grounded human being.
Stories like that make it seem like Butler will have a seamless transition into the league.
But what if he does experience the growing pains typical of an NBA rookie? How will he react to the criticisms if he isn't living up to expectations?
The Bulls may be young, but they are still a veteran team. They only had one rookie on their roster last season, and I doubt they'd slow down for anyone to catch on.
Can He Score at the Next Level?
Jimmy Butler is a "jack of all trades" type of player. He does everything well but won't be an all-star anytime soon. His ceiling appears to be as a solid role player.
You need some solid role players to win a championship, but is he the right type of role player the Bulls need?
Luol Deng is that same type of player that does just about everything very well. Deng has proved to be a great second or third option on offense. He also never backs down from guarding a premier player.
What the Bulls really need is someone who can ease the scoring load for Derrick Rose. While Jimmy Butler was a good offensive player in college, he has never proven to be a threat from beyond the arc or able to create his own shot.
If he can continue to develop his jump shot and extend his range, Butler would most certainly become one of the big sleepers of this year's draft.
Time Will Tell
So far, Jimmy Butler has said and done everything right. His humble personality and hard work ethic makes Chicago fans excited to see how he can help the team.
Only time will tell if he ends up playing like his favorite player, Wes Matthews, or if he ends up being a non-factor.
While the pick may have come to a shock to some, I doubt many fans will be complaining when they see what this kid is capable of.