The Chicago Bulls were able to add Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade this offseason and, despite being in the midst of Olympic preparation, Jimmy Butler can’t wait to start next season with two new backcourt teammates.
“D-Wade’s here; I’m excited,” said Butler to the media before USAB’s practice at the United Center.
“It’s a new start for a lot of us,” remarked Butler. “There are multiple ways to score the basketball. I don’t get into analytics and the numbers. I think D-Wade has put the ball in the basket for a lot of years. He’s a great player because of the way he scores the ball.”
Wade has, in fact, been able to put the ball in the basket better than most during his career, and the Chicago native is coming off a season where he averaged 19 points over 74 games. Rondo, the other big name addition, is taking over the distributor role and has made a living off of his high basketball IQ and passing ability. Not exactly a scoring threat, Rondo averaged just 11.9 points per game this year but led the league in assists with 11.7.
“Rondo, call him what you want, but he’s effective at what he does. Same thing with myself. You can say you have to be able to knock down the open shot, but I think we’ll find ways.”
Jimmy Buckets hit it right on the nose, and each member of the trio knows their role and won’t stray too far from it. Rondo’s role in Sacramento was to feed the ball to DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, and he’ll have that same role with the Bulls.
Chicago’s offense ranked toward the bottom of the NBA in 2015-16, and their 101.6 points per game average was good for 21st. With this new-look Chicago Bulls team, Butler is all about efficiency and isn’t too concerned with where the points come from, “As long as I put the ball in the basket, I don’t think it matters whether it’s from outside or in the paint,” Butler said. “Shooting threes or not … as long as I’m productive and efficient.”
The road to productivity and efficiency for the Bulls is inside the three-point line, because Rondo, Butler, and Wade aren’t exactly lights out shooters. Rondo, who gets ragged on constantly for his inability to shoot, had the highest three-point percentage out of the three with 36.5 percent; Butler finished at 31.2, and Wade was at 15.9 but attempted just 44 threes total.
Despite being inefficient long-range shooters, each player had a true shooting percentage greater than 50 percent last season, and Butler was one of seven guards to have a TS% over 56 with more than 1,000 attempted field goals, according to Basketball-Reference.
Data courtesy of Basketball-Reference
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