As if the Bulls didn’t already have enough problems, Jimmy Butler’s shoulder injury is serious.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
There are a couple positives
1. Butler won’t need surgery.
2. He, like Rose, should return before the playoffs for some tune-up games.
But, on the whole, this is awful news for the Bulls.
Butler has been Chicago’s best player this season, a front-runner for Most Improved Player. This likely means more minutes for Kirk Hinrich and maybe Tony Snell and E’Twaun Moore. Snell has been playing well, but Butler is certainly not easily replaceable. Plus, there’s a good chance Tom Thibodeau (further) over-relies on Hinrich.
The Bulls are still third in the Eastern Conference, three games up for homecourt advantage in the first round. They have a little margin for error, and the most important thing is getting healthy in time for the postseason. But this obviously not the ideal path for getting there.