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Roster breakdown: Jimmy Butler

12/19/2011

As we get set for the Bulls season, let's take a closer look at each player on the projected roster.

Jimmy Butler

Salary: $1.02 million

Role for Bulls in 2011-12: There really isn't that much pressure on Butler this season. Thibodeau has already admitted that it will be tough for Butler to crack the rotation in the beginning of the year because the lockout stopped him from learning the system this summer. The Bulls are high on the Marquette alum though, and he seems like the kind of player they're always looking for.

What happened this summer?: Butler spent time back in his home state of Texas and also trained at the IMG Academy in Florida. He said he talked to Derrick Rose and various other teammates throughout the summer.

Best-case scenario: Butler plays every night like he did during Friday night's preseason opener in Indiana. He was 3-for-3 from the field, scored eight points and played with the type of aggression Thibodeau likes to see. If he can break into the rotation and become a functioning member of the Bench Mob, Thibodeau will be very pleased. "I told you he's great, man," Rose said after Friday night's game. "He's a great addition to our team. With him being so young and understanding the game. And he has a lot of confidence, quiet confidence. Where when he's out there, he's always doing something good. He can defend. Plays smart, man, especially being a rookie. He's one of the pieces I think coach is going to use a lot."

Worst-case scenario: Butler doesn't adapt well to the speed of the NBA game and struggles to find a niche on the team. He gets frustrated with a lack of minutes and doesn't grow as much in his first year as the Bulls want him to in his first season.

Bottom line: All Butler needs to do this season is learn. If he can produce solid minutes throughout the season, that would be an added bonus for the Bulls.