Another athlete is “betting on himself” when he comes to contract talks. This time it is Bulls guard, Jimmy Butler, recently rejected a 4-year $40 million offer from the Bulls.
Butler and his agent asked for $12 million over four years, which to many fans seems a bit high for a defensive first guard. By the end of the season, $12 million might be low, because so far Butler is proving his worth.
Since watching Butler at Marquette University, the only this that has changed in Butler’s game is his physical presence.
In college, Butler had the ability to get into the paint and draw contract . Butler averaged 6.8 free throws per game during his junior and senior year.
In addition, as a three year starter with the Golden Eagles, shoot 52 percent from two-point range, while only 38 from three-point.
Why do I bring up his college numbers? Look at where is Butler most successful? In the paint. That creates high free throw percentage and more points.
What caused Butler’s low shooting percentage last season his shot selection. During the 2013-14 season, his average distance per shot was 14.6 feet. This season, 10.6 feet. This season, 48.8 percent of Butler’s shots have been within 10 feet. Last season, just 37.1 percent. With the short distance, Butler’s shooting percentage for two-pointers has increased dramatically 45.7 percent last season to 53.3 percent this season.
And he is averaging 6.7 free throws.
Butler does not have to be a prototypical shooting guard to put up big numbers. Follow Marquette alumni, Dywane Wade, has a career 52.1 percent shot selection from within 10 feet. And that is even with bad legs for half of his career. Butler is better built than Wade, which will allow him to take contact inside and make a living in the NBA.
Butler’s development, both physically and mentally, has made him into the player he was at Marquette. The Bulls will end up paying Butler his $12 million , but with his progress, it will be worth it.