The 6-7 SG has been nothing but a role model and class. He is just 28 years old with a career scoring avg of 16ppg. Along with a 1.5 spg /career, and dishing 5 apg /career. Which makes him a pretty good ball player as well. With a quick shot and off the dribble ability, putting up 24 ppg along with 6 rpg, 6apg in 2016, combined with really good defense – with 2spg, along with drilling the ball from deep at 37% – he is an immediate asset. He had 35 games scoring 25 or more points in 2016. This season, he already has 23 games with 25 pts or more. Along with 26 games with 3+ steals or more in 2016 – 17 games with 3 steals or more in 52 games in 2017. He has certainly not slowed down in leading his new team.
Butler is also not an arrogant, or obnoxious player. That we unfortunately have seen from many of the star players in the NBA over the years. Heart is one of the great things I want to see from my guy on the court. He is a guy who genuinely seems to just want to win. He has the heart of a lion just like the handicappers at VegasTopDogs.
Any kind of past negative comments about him being a miserable teammate were unfounded and untrue, in my opinion. Most people would get frustrated real fast with how the Bulls had been running things over the last several seasons. Butler wanted to win and build a team for Chicago for years down the road, but oddly enough, the Bulls have become incredibly bad at building around their star players as of late. Jordan Bell is gone from the 2017 draft and Denzel Valentine hasn’t shown any kind of major potential for them, and Valentine is also shouldering terrible defense and has been struggling off screens.
Chicago put the wrong personnel around Jimmy. Instead of knock down shooters or a rock star PG, they gave him team destroyer, Rajon Rondo and aging DWade. Once again, that’s on Chicago’s front office failures and just not knowing what to do. The Bulls notion of building around one guy was asinine – the way to build a championship contender in this day and age, is like the Celtics or the Spurs. Boston and San Antonio have built teams with several stars and a team style and system. The days of one guy putting a team on his back, sadly, are over in the NBA. It seems to be all about massive star power and stacked teams.
The trade that went down, was really nothing more than a daylight robbery from the Timberwolves. Minnesota gave up an injury prone player, in Zach Lavine and below average PG and the poor shooting Kris Dunn for a player with the skillset of Butler. So far, Lavine and Dunn have not been blowing away anyone – and Butler is putting up 23ppg for Minnesota.
The bad shooting T-Wolves were 20th in the league shooting the trey. Hitting just 34% in 2016. Butler also helped that problem – by hitting 37% of his shots from behind the arc in 2017. The league now is not one in which you can survive without knocking down the 3 ball. Butler has shown that with ease. 3 out of the top 5 winning pct. teams in the NBA are in the top 10 in the NBA in 3pt shooting pct., and 4 out of 5 are in the top 10 for 3 balls made.
Karl-Anthony Towns has been awesome, and Butler has added a solid piece to their puzzle. Wiggins needs to keep improving his defensive efficiency as he has been good on the offensive side of the ball. The best part for them, is that he is still only 22 years old and can get better. Butler has been netting 23ppg this year, while leading his new team in shooting pct. for players shooting 15 or more times/game and free throw attempts/game. Wiggins is not one of the better defenders in the league, and the Wolves can be even that much better, if he picks it up on defensive side of things.
Butler has been reunited with Tom Thibodeau that has been a great mix for their team. And Tom has been getting very good things from the team this year, so far. One of the hidden upsides, as well, with Thibodeau, is that this team will greatly over perform from the likely 3-5 seed and this team will be something to be seriously watchful of. The city could be very proud to get deeper into the season, instead of the looming dumpster fire, that typically sits in the back of their fans heads. At the top of the NorthWest division, and 4th in the Western Conference, they are starting to really hit their stride, and will only get better.
A very important thing Butler has brought with his game is perimeter defense for Minnesota. Wiggins has all the physical measurables, at 6-8 and 200lbs – to be a great wing defender, with nice length, and speed but he hasn’t gotten there yet. I think Wiggins is a very talented player – but he tends to make a lot of silly mental mistakes on defense. Jimmy has the ability to take the other teams top wings, and Wiggins can just work on shutting down the secondary scoring threat, it takes pressure off of him. Butler’s D, immediately has helped the Wolves, just as much, if not more than his ball control and scoring ability, as Butler is sitting 4th in the NBA right now, with 2 steals/game.
This nasty trio in Minnesota might actually be better than the top 3 in Houston. I’m not saying they are, before people get all besides themselves, but if they keep the chemistry there, it just might end up that way. So far, with their scoring and ball movement, it has worked pretty well. Teaming him up with Towns and Wiggins has been great to watch. I am really excited for this team and its future. As Jimmy and Wiggins have given the Timberwolves a really interesting duo in the backcourt.
Minnesota is going to continue to continue to win more than their share of games, this is a very solid team. Minnesota got their 3rd piece to go forward with young guns Wiggins and Towns, and the Wolves should be dangerous for the next 5-10 years because of the youth, talent, and coaching of their franchise. They are one of the best offensive teams in the league at 109 ppg – the Timberwolves have really improved their already talented team with adding Jimmy Butler.