The Chicago Bulls are in a transition, they have a new coach, which means a new staff. The last thing the Bulls wanted to do, was start with new players. They made sure they didn’t lose one of their core pieces in Jimmy Butler. The 25-year old will get more time to mesh with former MVP Derrick Rose. He wasn’t the only player on the Bulls roster that was highly coveted, Mike Dunleavy was high on several teams’ list per several reports, Gar Forman wasted no time putting that to rest either. Getting his dependable veteran wing off the market as soon as possible. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but the highly scrutinized Chicago front office deserves a pat on the back or acknowledgement of a job well done.
Butler has worked hard to go from a young hardworking player with the potential to carve out a role on a top team in the East, to one of it’s best players. His all-around game is a joy to watch, he’s also a hard nosed defender that is capable of doing what only a few in the league can do, slow down and bother LeBron James. In Rose’s absences over the past few seasons, the former Marquette player has grown by leaps and bounds. Easily becoming one of the league’s better two-way players. Making the All-Star team last year, helped validate it for many of those who don’t get a chance to see him play.
Since his rookie year, Butler has improved each and every season. Last year, the fourth year player averaged 20 points and 5.8 rebounds on 46% shooting from the floor and 37% from beyond the arc. Jimmy still has some growing to do, so even if the Bulls blow up this current team next season, he’ll be a huge part of the next step. Butler is very deserving of that 5-year $95 million dollar extension, he’s proven his worth.
As for Dunleavy, what team wouldn’t like a 6’9 wing that shot 40% from deep last year? As mentioned earlier, there was quite a list interested including the Washington Wizards. The three year deal would likely keep him around should this team be blown up as well, it’ll be interesting to see how he fares in the new coach’s offense.
It’s only the first day, much more can happen, but the Bulls were right to get both of these deals down early.