Report: Bulls’ Jimmy Butler wins Most Improved Player

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Jimmy Butler reportedly rejected a four-year, $40 million contract extension before the season.

It was the right move.

The Bulls guard has improved immensely, and he should get a max contract this summer.

First, he’ll get another reward for his progress.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Butler has supplanted Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah as Chicago’s best player. There was one a school of thought Butler needed to play off Rose to be effective, but the shooting guard has put that to rest this season. Butler is filling a bigger role offensively and got even more efficiently in the process – hard feats to pull off in tandem. Plus, he has remained a lockdown defender.

There are only two knocks in Butler’s Most Improved Player credentials:

1. He was underrated last season, so – if we all agree on his value this season – his improvement has been overrated.

2. Butler missed 17 games due to injury this year, which limits the amount of production he supplied Chicago over his production last year.

But those are small flaws in an otherwise impressive résumé. This is well-deserved.