Chicago Bulls Need To Invest In Jimmy Butler

Apr 30, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) celebrates following a play during the third quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks in game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, the biggest challenge that the Chicago Bulls will face this summer begins. Wednesday is when NBA Free Agency begins and that is when the Bulls need to prove to Jimmy Butler that he is “The Guy” of the organization. 

The rumors are out there.

Just like the rumors were out there about former Chicago Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls’ front office. The rumors of tension between Thibodeau and the Bulls’ front office proved to be true as the end result was Thibodeau and the Bulls parting ways in an ugly divorce.

The latest round of rumors center around Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler. There is believed to be tension between Rose and Butler and that tension may play a factor in Butler’s decision this summer. The tension is believed to be derived from the idea that Rose is perceived to be “The Guy” of the Bulls’ organization while Butler believes that he is the guy.

Last season for the Bulls, player 1 averaged 17.7 points per game while shooting 40.5% from the field. Player 1 shot 28% percent from three-point range while also averaging 3.2 rebounds per game and 4.9 assists per game. In the playoffs, player 1 averaged 20.3 points per game while shooting 39% from the field to go along with shooting 34.8 percent from three-point range with 4.8 rebounds per game and 6.5 assists per game.

Player 2, last season for the Bulls, averaged 20 points per game while shooting 46.2% from the field. Player 2 shot 37.8% from three-point range last season while averaging 5.8 rebounds per game and 3.3 assists per game. In the playoffs, player 2 averaged 22.9 points per game while shooting 44.1% from the field to go along with shooting 38.9% from three-point range with 5.6 rebounds per game and 3.2 assists per game.

From last season alone, the stats suggest that player 2 should be “The Guy” going forward for the Bulls’ organization. Player 1 was Derrick Rose while player 2 was Jimmy Butler.

But, lets not stop there.

Rose averaged 30 minutes per game during the 51 regular season games that he played in for the Bulls last season. In the playoffs, Rose averaged 37.8 minutes per game in the Bulls’ 12 playoff games.

Meanwhile, Butler averaged 38.7 minutes per game during the 65 regular season games that he played in for the Bulls last season. In the playoffs, Butler averaged 42.2 minutes per game in the Bulls’ 12 playoffs game.

Those numbers would suggest that not only did Butler outperform Rose last season but he also proved to be more dependable. At the end of the day, when talking about the centerpiece of an organization, it should be the player that can be depended on the most. That player for the Bulls is Butler.

That is the reason why the Bulls need to convince Butler that he is “The Guy” when free agency begins in the NBA on Wednesday. The Bulls still hold leverage considering Butler is a restricted free agent but that won’t prevent teams like the Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks from offering the Bulls’ guard a max contract. Butler should be the centerpiece of the Bulls’ long-term future and that is why the team needs to do whatever it takes to retain him.

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