Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler
29-Year-Old GuardG
Minnesota Timberwolves
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Butler was traded to the Timberwolves last summer and arrived in Minnesota as one of the league's biggest offseason additions. After a slow start to the season, Butler soon found his groove and started putting up the numbers Fantasy owners had become accustomed to in recent years. He finished his season as the team's leader in both scoring and steals, averaging 22.2 points and 2.0 steals per game, to go along with 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists. Despite the high-level production, Butler's season will likely be remembered for his knee injury, which came a ta key point in the season. The loss of Butler was felt immediately, and the team fell from the fourth seed to the eighth seed in the West within a matter of weeks. Although the Timberwolves were ultimately able to sneak into the playoffs as the eighth seed, they were quickly dispatched by Houston in Round 1. Looking ahead, Butler will again be locked in as the primary -- or perhaps co-primary -- option on offense, as well as the defensive anchor. Owners in most formats will have to part with a top-30 pick in order to secure Butler's services, and while he doesn't have the upside of the truly elite Fantasy commodities, Butler is about as safe as they come, though it's fair question whether he'll be able to stay healthy. The 29-year-old played in only 59 games last season -- his fewest since the lockout-shortened 2011-12 campaign-- and he's missed at least 15 contests in four of the last five seasons. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $92.34 million contract with the Bulls in July of 2015. Traded to the Timberwolves in June of 2017.
Scores 23 in loss
GMinnesota Timberwolves
October 17, 2018
Butler had 23 points (9-23 FG, 1-4 3PT, 4-5 FT), seven rebounds and three assists in Wednesday's loss to the Spurs.
ANALYSIS
True to his word, Butler showed up on opening night and started alongside Andrew Wiggins on the wing, despite sitting out the entire preseason. As a result, Butler isn't yet in game shape, so coach Tom Thibodeau deployed him in shorter stints of six or seven minutes at a time. Butler ultimately ended up playing 32 minutes, but he had to be removed from the game to rest for a stretch during a key point in the fourth quarter. Butler is still seeking a way out of Minnesota, but he's maintained that he won't miss regular season games, so expect the All-Star to continue to suit up for the Timberwolves until he's dealt, which seems like an inevitability given that he's told the team he won't return next season.
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Jimmy Butler NBA Stats
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Jimmy Butler 2018–19 NBA Game Log
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Depth Chart Status
#1 Shooting Guard
#2 Small Forward
Minnesota Timberwolves Shooting Guard Depth Chart
Average Fantasy Points
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
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2012
2011
Butler, who arguably had the best season of his career during the 2016-17 campaign with the Bulls, is now a member of the Timberwolves. He was especially dominant after the All-Star break, posting 22.8 points, 6.6 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals across 37.7 minutes per game while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from deep. His emergence as a legitimate ballhandling threat and pseudo point guard elevated his game to new heights, increasing the number of ways he can rack up Fantasy points on any given night. While it’s unclear at the moment if that’s the role he’ll play with his new team, Jeff Teague, the Wolves’ point guard, is no slouch as a spot-up shooter. Butler even collected two triple-doubles last season and had an absolutely dominant performance against the Hornets where he dropped 52 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals, one block and only two turnovers. Due to his recent overall play, the fact that he’s slated to be on a more talented roster, and his big-game potential, Butler should be seriously considered within the top 15 picks of any Fantasy draft.
Butler was named an All-Star for the second straight season in 2015-16, posting averages of 20.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.6 steals in 67 games. While the Bulls failed to qualify for the postseason, Butler solidified his standing as one of the top two-way shooting guards in the league. Butler returns as the Bulls' unquestioned top player, but significant questions loom after Chicago added a pair of veteran guards in Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo in free agency. At age 34, Wade ranked fifth in the NBA in usage rate last season, while Rondo's propensity to dominate the ball is well documented. While both players have publicly backed Butler as the team's No. 1 option, it's fair to question how three below-average jump shooters will coexist in one backcourt. Butler shot a healthy 45.4 percent from the field last season, but converted only 31.2 percent of his three-point attempts, down from 37.8 percent in 2014-15. That number will have to improve this season for Butler's scoring production to maintain, as he figures to cede a decent portion of the offensive burden to Wade and Rondo. Butler's rebounding numbers will likely be sustainable, though with the addition of Rondo, it's difficult to imagine him topping -- let alone matching -- the career-best 4.8 assists per game he averaged last season.
Butler enters his fifth season in the NBA as an established star after an excellent 2014-15 season where he made the All-Star Team and won the NBA's Most Improved Player Award. Butler has always been known as a defensive stud, but he became a great all-around player last season as he averaged 20.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 1.1 three-pointers in 39 minutes per game. Although he played a lot of minutes, Butler was only healthy enough to play in 65 games due to an elbow injury. He also improved all of his percentages from the previous season as he shot 46 percent from the field, 83 percent from the free-throw line, and 38 percent from behind the arc. His excellent season paid off big time as he signed a five-year max contract over the summer to remain with the team. The Bulls will rely on him heavily again this year, but it's possible he sees a little less playing time under new head coach Fred Hoiberg than he did under Tom Thibodeau as Thibodeau played his starters huge minutes. Hoiberg is expected to run a more up-tempo offense this year, something that should only help Butler as he excels in the open court and at getting to the rim. When asked by Hoiberg which position he plays, Butler said he thinks of himself as a point guard, so if Rose falls prey to another injury, don't be surprised if Butler simply takes on a more prominent role handling the ball.
Many expected Jimmy Butler to make a big leap forward last season, and while his production increased, his efficiency took a big hit in the process. Butler averaged 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.9 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 39 minutes per game while playing in 67 contests. Now entering his fourth season, he'll look to improve upon his relatively unpolished offensive skill set while continuing to take on some of the toughest defensive assignments in the NBA. Thanks in large part to the mid-season trade of Luol Deng, he saw his minutes rise dramatically last season and was constantly relied upon by coach Tom Thibodeau to grind out games. With the increase in playing time, Butler increased his output, attempting 10.3 shots per game. In turn, he saw his field goal percentage fall below the 40 percent threshold. With the return of Derrick Rose and the addition of other scorers, there will be less pressure on Butler to force the issue on the offensive end. Depth issues plagued the Bulls last season and Butler was called upon to log an incredible amount of minutes for Chicago. While Butler may still be the workhorse on the wing, Thibodeau has significantly more capable options this season, including Tony Snell and European rookie Nikola Mirotic. As long as Butler continues to struggle offensively, he remains a lower-tier fantasy option unless your format values steals.
Many expected Jimmy Butler to make a big leap forward last season, and while his production increased, his efficiency took a big hit in the process. Butler averaged 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.9 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 39 minutes per game while playing in 67 contests. Now entering his fourth season, he'll look to improve upon his relatively unpolished offensive skill set while continuing to take on some of the toughest defensive assignments in the NBA. Thanks in large part to the mid-season trade of Luol Deng, he saw his minutes rise dramatically last season and was constantly relied upon by coach Tom Thibodeau to grind out games. With the increase in playing time, Butler increased his output, attempting 10.3 shots per game. In turn, he saw his field goal percentage fall below the 40 percent threshold. With the return of Derrick Rose and the addition of other scorers, there will be less pressure on Butler to force the issue on the offensive end. Depth issues plagued the Bulls last season and Butler was called upon to log an incredible amount of minutes for Chicago. While Butler may still be the workhorse on the wing, Thibodeau has significantly more capable options this season, including Tony Snell and European rookie Nikola Mirotic. As long as Butler continues to struggle offensively, he remains a lower-tier fantasy option unless your format values steals.
Butler, selected 30th by the Bulls in last year's draft, saw minimal action as a rookie. He had a big Summer League campaign and is projected to take the departed Ronnie Brewer's defensive spark plug role off the bench this season. Look for him to see a major spike in playing time this year.
Butler, selected 30th by the Bulls in this year’s draft, averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals at Marquette last year. He played both forward positions in college, but his slight frame (6-8, 215) means he'll probably spend most of his time at the three in the NBA. He should spend most of this year on the bench, but an injury could clear the way for him to get some playing time.
More Fantasy News
To play in 'shorter segments'
GMinnesota Timberwolves
October 17, 2018
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Butler will likely play in shorter spurts during Wednesday's season opener against the Spurs, Kyle Ratke of Timberwolves.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Still seeking trade, will play Wednesday
GMinnesota Timberwolves
October 17, 2018
Wolves owner Glen Taylor said Tuesday that he remains committed to finding a trade for Butler, who has maintained that he will play in Wednesday's opener against the Spurs, Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune reports. "The latest is he is going to be going to practice every day, which he has been, and plans to play in games," said Taylor. "He will be a regular team player. What I said to him in the meantime is our GM, Scott Layden, will be talking to other teams to see if there is a trade that works."
ANALYSIS
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Will play Wednesday
GMinnesota Timberwolves
Not Injury Related
October 14, 2018
Butler is expected to play in Wednesday's season opener against the Spurs, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
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Not with team in Milwaukee
GMinnesota Timberwolves
Not Injury Related
October 12, 2018
Butler is not with the Timberwolves for their preseason finale Friday in Milwaukee, Bucks sideline reporter Katie George reports.
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Practices with team
GMinnesota Timberwolves
October 10, 2018
Butler practiced with the Timberwolves on Wednesday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
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