Bulls Review: Rasual Butler

June, 14, 2011
6/14/11
5:37
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
ButlerScott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty ImagesRasual Butler came in too late to crack a rotation that Tom Thibodeau already set.
Over the next few weeks, we'll take a closer look at each player on the Bulls roster and see where they fit in for the future. Let's take a look at a player who surprisingly became the most talked about reserve on the roster during the postseason.


Rasual Butler

2010-11 salary: $421,312

Season recap: Butler signed with the Bulls in early March after being released by the Los Angeles Clippers. He only played in six regular season games, but that didn't stop him from becoming one of the most talked about players on the team. A large group of fans wanted to see him get more minutes, especially during the postseason, but Tom Thibodeau's rotation was already set and he decided to keep Butler on the bench.

Season highlight:In the Bulls' final regular season game against the New Jersey Nets on April 13, Butler went 4-for-5 from the field for 10 points in just 13 minutes. It was after this performance that many fans wondered if and when Butler would get more playing time.

Season lowlight: Butler didn't play enough to earn a lowlight, unless you count the fact that he got just 6:37 of playing time combined in the playoffs.

Final grades: Regular season -- Inc | Postseason -- Inc

Butler The Bulls have a great tradition. They're looking to continue to add to it. You can see the way that they've played this year. It's a great opportunity for me to be part of a winning organization. They're doing extremely well this year ... for them to have some interest in me, it made me feel really good.

-- Rasual Butler, after signing with Bulls
Notes:I never understood why so many people wanted Butler to play so much. In 41 games for the Clippers this season he was shooting 32 percent from the field and averaging five points a game. Thibodeau basically said from the beginning it would be tough for Butler to crack the rotation because he was coming in so late and Butler understood. Still, a portion of the fan base clamored for Butler to get more time, believing that he could be the answer to the Bulls offensive woes.

What's next?: It seems doubtful that Butler will return. He will look for a team where he can play more and the Bulls will look to fill out the end of their bench with a few younger players. Butler did average 12 points a game just two seasons ago so there should be several teams willing to give him a chance, but it doesn't appear likely that the Bulls will be one of them.

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
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5