CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 18: Jimmy Butler #33 of the Marquette Golden Eagles goes up for a dunk against the Xavier Musketeers during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Quicken Loans Arena on March 18, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
*though I do look forward to hearing 'the rights to Nikola Mirotic' thrown into every trade scenario from now until 2014. Hey, if he's even near Omer Asik, great. He projects to be even better. Until then, and not a moment sooner, I will (completely unfairly) make fun of the Bulls for that pick.
In my sparse NBA Draft coverage (it's so much less work to just evaluate who they actually take, you guys), Marquette's Jimmy Butler was mentioned in this fanshot for his superlatively-humble interview at the draft combine. Butler's become more well-known than his draft stock would suggest due to the story of his upbringing, which Chad Ford detailed here.
So it seems he has the 'character' that Gar Forman mentioned as a near-prerequisite, and I'm sure Sam Smith will use Butler's politeness to once again bring up how Tyrus Thomas was rude to a bellhop that one time, but as Sham said in his brief profile of Butler: "That feel-good piece doesn't make Butler any better". Ford projected him as 'the consummate role player', so can he indeed make the Bulls rotation next season?
As a Senior who played on the wing (usually the easiest NBA learning curve), the Bulls should immediately have an idea whether he could take some of those SG/SF minutes, or allow the team to deal someone with the expectation of Butler filling in the gap (cheaply!).
As far as his game, I'll defer to others. Sham goes on:
His quirky offensive game, somewhat described here, is not necessarily conducive to the NBA, yet it hasn't held him back so far, a 16 ppg scorer in the Big East without needing good range or good physical tools to do it. Talent is talent, and talent translates. Donnell Harvey churned out a few years, and so may Jimmy Butler.
Draft Express looked at situational statistics with Synergy, and Butler came across very well:
Looking through the rest of this class of forwards, a few things stand out. First is how well Jimmy Butler seems to rank in virtually every category, starting with overall offensive efficiency (6th), and continuing with turnover rate (2nd best), free throw rate (2nd) and transition scoring (2nd). If he can improve his ability to make shots with his feet set (13th, 36% FG) he will likely carve out a long career for himself considering how staunch of a defender he is.
And Butler had defense first in his mind, explicitly mentioning guarding LeBron James and Dwayne Wade in his interview with AM1000 right after being drafted.
For what the Bulls said they were looking for, it appears that Jimmy Butler is it.
Here is Gar Forman's post-draft presser, comparatively little of it having to do with basketball: