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Bulls' Jimmy Butler eager to embrace a greater role
Second-year forward Jimmy Butler talks with about preparing for the summer league, his offseason focus, and his hope for a chance to show what he can do when the 2012-13 NBA season gets underway.

By Adam Fluck | 07.13.2012

Last season, Bulls forward Jimmy Butler simply had to wait his turn. As a rookie who was selected late in the 2011 draft’s first round, he didn’t exactly walk into a situation where he would be given a great deal of playing time.

When you factor in that he was behind a first-time NBA All-Star in Luol Deng in the rotation, as well as the team’s extensive depth with Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver also coming off the bench, it made minutes even more difficult to come by.

But that could all change once the 2012-13 season gets underway. Chicago recently declined to pick up Brewer’s contract option, though the team reportedly will consider bringing him back later in the offseason. Korver’s also status remains up in the air. Should only one or neither player return, it would seemingly open the door for Butler to take on a lot more responsibility.
Following summer league, it will be back to the gym for Butler. He said he’s been diligent with working on all aspects of his game this summer, but he’s chosen to focus on one area in particular: hitting the open jump shot.

“It’s not just being able to make it; it’s the confidence in being able to take it,” explained Butler. “You’ve got to make people honor and respect that you can hit that shot. I know I can make it, but your confidence comes from your work. If I’m shooting that shot 1,000 times a day, whenever it’s thrown to me and I’m in a Bulls uniform going against another professional team, I’ll take that shot because I’ve got the confidence I can make it.”

Aside from being armed with an improved jumper, Butler will also enter the coming season with a year of NBA experience under his belt. Given he was drafted just days before last summer’s lockout ensued, his transition from college to the pros wasn’t a typical one.
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An interesting read... can Butler be a perimeter stopper for us off the bench? I liked what I saw last year in limited stretches. Sounds like he has a solid work ethic... that seems to bode well for his jumper.
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