Bulls player reviews: Jimmy Butler

May, 14, 2014
May 14
10:00
AM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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Jimmy ButlerFernando Medina/NBAE/Getty ImagesJimmy Butler was a defensive wonder for the Bulls, but his jump shot still needs work.

Jimmy Butler

2013-14 salary: $1,112,880 | Age: 24 | Season stats: 13.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg

Season recap: Butler dealt with a painful turf toe injury throughout the first month of the season. Once he got back on the floor, he played an iron man role for the Bulls, especially after his good friend Luol Deng got traded in early January. His defense was always solid, but he couldn't knock down jumpers consistently.

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Season highlight: Butler played 60 minutes, 20 seconds in a triple-overtime win over the Orlando Magic on Jan. 15, scoring 21 points with seven rebounds and six assists. He hit a game-deciding three-pointer late in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Season lowlight: Butler played 53 minutes in a Game 2 overtime loss to the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. He was just 2-for-9 from the field and admitted in the days following that he was fatigued.

Final grade: C

Notes: Butler shot 39.7 percent from the field and just 28.3 percent from the three-point line. Butler will be looking for a big contract extension next summer, but to get one he'll have to develop a more consistent jump shot.

Quotable: "The guy is built different. He's a black cowboy. I think that's as unique as it gets. He's one of those guys you can't put him in a category, and I love that because when a guy who plays that hard and really represents what our team is all about, for him to make the biggest shot of the game in the biggest moment of our season. I couldn't be happier that it's him." -- Bulls center Joakim Noah after Butler hit a critical three-pointer late in Game 3 of their playoff series against the Wizards.

What's next?: Butler always puts in extra time in the gym, but he must put in more than ever this summer to get his jumper to a point where he can trust it on the floor next season.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
21.9 3.3 1.6 39.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.7
AssistsD. Rose 5.1
StealsJ. Butler 1.6
BlocksP. Gasol 2.0