When Dwyane Wade made the decision to join the Chicago Bulls this offseason, much of the attention was around whose team it would be. That conversation was quickly put to rest after Wade stated it was Jimmy Butler’s team. In light of that, he recently told the Chicago Tribune that Butler is finally doing what he expected him to do.
“(Butler) is leading us,” Wade said. “He’s doing what me and (Rajon) Rondo came here for him to do. That’s to really turn into a premier, premier player in this league — above just an All-Star. He’s defending the other team’s best guys, he’s rebounding, he’s passing, he’s scoring and he’s being aggressive. He’s good.”
Butler over the last couple of weeks has been quite vocal about his leadership of the team, which has only gained credence with Wade’s comments. The 27-year-old is certainly doing it by example averaging a career-high 24.3 points with 4.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game. This includes scoring 20 or more points eight times this season highlighted by a pair of 30-point outbursts.
He will have to continue to take a larger offensive role as he’s the Bulls’ top scoring option. Wade is still a very capable scorer, but he’s past the prime of his career and there will be nights where Butler will have to carry the slack. All in all, this could be just the beginning to his best campaign of his career as Chicago’s face of the franchise.