When you talk about the Chicago Bulls, what's first that comes mind? Michael Jordan? Scottie Pippin? Derrick Rose? Joakim Noah? Hell, Pau Gasol? And you wouldn't wrong for thinking about of those ball players. But man consistently overlooked is and star in making Jimmy Butler. Butler a free agent at seasons end and is going to command a max contract from a handful teams offseason and it's justifiable. He's in the midst of a breakout season having a little bit a breakout season last year after averaging 13 points per game.
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This season Butler is averaging 20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.7 steals a game. How that can overlooked is beyond me, but it has been overlooked. Maybe it's Derrick Rose injuries, maybe it's Pau Gasol's resurgent season, maybe the push for the playoffs, who knows? I certainly don't. Maybe it's because of where I'm from. But the sense that I get is they don't talk about this guy around the league. He's young, he's extremely athletic and can be the number 1 option on a good chunk of teams in the association. He can finish at the rack after contact, he's got a good mid range game, and he can get it done on the defensive end as well, as evidence of the 1.7 steals a game. His only knock in four seasons is his health, but that comes with any physical basketball player.
There's no doubt in my mind that he lands a max contract this offseason. He's going to land on a team that absolutely needs him and I don't think he will disappoint.
Teams like Boston, Milwaukee, Orlando, Knicks, Kings, Lakers, Blazers (should they lose Wes Matthews) Spurs (should they lose Kawhi Leonard) and Bulls will all be interested in landing Butler and I'm sure more teams will hop into the fray when the offseason hits as they should. He's extremely talented on all ends of the floor and for a player like that, you're going to have to pay top dollar.
From my standpoint (in a perfect world) he could land in Boston who is quickly on the rise. Coach Brad Stevens has turned a team heading for the leagues basement into a team with playoff aspirations with absolutely no star power. His best offensive player has been there since the trade deadline in Isaiah Thomas and that is really it. He's turned players like Evan Turner, Tyler Zeller, and Jae Crowder into legitimate NBA players. What?!
My point exactly. Stevens gets the most out of his players and I think that will go a long way not only in the free agency process, but with his own players, coaches, and owners alike.
Stevens would put Butler in spots only where he would be successful and in this system he could be an animal. Boston has the all the assets in the world, has plenty of contracts coming off the books, and traded players with bloated contracts, except Gerald Wallace, so they have plenty of cap space to land whom they want. It's a matter of getting them there. They have the money to land two max contract type of players. Butler and Kevin Love anyone? Pair those two with Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, some draft picks, rim protectors and company, then you have an Eastern Conference contender. Okay, a lot of this may be a pipe dream but not impossible.
The possibilities for the Celtics are plentiful at the right time, let's see if they make the necessary moves to get closer to banner 18.