- Joe Kaiser, Fantasy, Insider
If you didn't know who Chicago's Jimmy Butler was before the playoffs started, there's a good chance you do now. The second-year man out of Marquette averaged 38.4 minutes in the Bulls' seven-game series against Brooklyn, and has had his workload increase (to 39.5 MPG) in the first two contests against Miami.
Nobody is playing more that Butler in the playoffs, and very few players are earning less. That's a ratio that bodes well for the Bulls in the short term, and one that will likely set up Butler well for a huge pay raise once his rookie contract is up.
Here's ESPN Insider Tom Haberstroh with more on Butler's value to the Bulls, both on the court and on the payroll.
"Butler is making $1 million this season and $1 million next season. I repeat: $1 million this season and $1 million next season. Tom Thibodeau is making every dollar count. No one has played more minutes in the playoffs than Butler, including 13 straight quarters without rest before he (deliberately?) got in foul trouble and had to exit Game 2. LeBron James' numbers are way down in this series, and Butler's relentless defense on the reigning MVP is a big reason why. His growth as a floor spacer is on display as well. In this series alone, he has already doubled the number of 3s he hit last season (2)."