Jimmy Butler has come a long way since being drafted with the 30th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Now Butler will be named the NBA’s Most Improved Player according to a report by ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Story going online now: ESPN sources say Chicago's Jimmy Butler will be named NBA's Most Improved Player later this week
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 6, 2015
Stein reports the award will be announced later this week and a pregame ceremony for Butler is expected before the Bulls and Cavaliers play Friday night. Fans should arrive at the United Center early to see the award given out to Butler.
Butler is averaging 20 points, 3.3 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game this year for the Bulls. All three are career highs for the 25-year-old out of Marquette. Butler averaged just 13.1 points per game last season. He also lead the NBA in minutes played per game this season with 38.7, almost a full two minutes more than the second place finisher James Harden who averaged 36.8 minutes.
The emerging star will likely get a huge contract in the off-season and the Bulls hope they can keep the guard as part of their core for the future. As a restricted free agent, the Bulls can match any offer Butler receives this off-season from another team. The price will be high for the guard as he’s expected to get a max deal.
The award is just a sweetener for Butler on this season, but he will look to lead the Bulls to an NBA Championship which starts by taking down LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.