Bulls

Butler establishing himself as Bulls' spark off the bench

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Butler establishing himself as Bulls' spark off the bench

PHOENIXHis six points and two steals in eight minutes and 36 seconds of playing time with those statistics occurring in the five minutes and 23 seconds he played in the second quarter may seem insignificant on the surface, but second-year swingman Jimmy Butler played a major role in the Bulls overtime win Wednesday night over the Suns.

At a time when the Bulls were struggling, Butler, inserted to give ironman starter Luol Deng a rest, gave the team a huge lift and while he didnt make an impact in the games deciding moments, hes starting to become a player the team can count on for energy when it needs it most.

I thought Jimmy, in the first half, got things going our way, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. His minutes were huge at the end of the second quarter.

Concurred Deng: Jimmy was great. Jimmy was awesome out there. He made the hustle plays, got us back in the game. The way Jimmy played got us all hype, got us all excited.

Butler provided immediate energy, stealing an in-bounds pass and converting a layup, knocking down an open mid-range jumper and finally, swiping another steal and finishing with a dunk in transition, as part of a 13-0 Bulls run before halftime.

When the Suns called a timeout to put a halt to the proceedings, Butler had a wide smile on his face as his teammates were jumping for joy to congratulate him.

Thats what Im subbed in to do, to play hard, play defense and knock down the open shot, so thats what I did, Butler told CSNChicago.com. "Whenever I score a basket or make a steal like that, you look over there and you see them all jumping around, yelling and carrying on. I guess it gets me hype, too.

I just felt like a lot of things werent going our way, you could say, he continued. When things arent going our way, guys start to get down a little bit, so maybe that spark does help.

Wendell Carter Jr. talks up his fit with Lauri Markkanen: 'We're going to be unstoppable'

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USA TODAY

Wendell Carter Jr. talks up his fit with Lauri Markkanen: 'We're going to be unstoppable'

Draft prospects always get asked about how they would fit in with the best players on various teams. Once they are drafted, that goes double

New Bulls' draft pick Wendell Carter Jr. didn't disappoint with his answer about how he can play with Lauri Markkanen, the Bulls' first-round pick from the year before.

“We’re going to be unstoppable," Carter Jr. said to reporters in Brooklyn. "He is a great player, someone I can learn from. A great young player. Someone I can learn from on and off the court. With my work ethic, as I come in I’m going to do all I can do to help my team to win. I think we’ll definitely complement one another on both ends of the court.”

Carter Jr. could play the center next to Markkanen at the power forward spot to form a formidable frontcourt if both players continue to develop.

On the ESPN broadcast of the draft, Chauncey Billups talked about the two big guys and the state of the Bulls in general after Carter Jr. was picked.

"I love what they're putting together there," Billups said of the Bulls. "I like their backcourt with Dunn and LaVine. These two big guys, him and Markkanen, are going to play very well together."

Bulls fulfill their promise, take Boise State's Chandler Hutchison at No. 22

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USA TODAY

Bulls fulfill their promise, take Boise State's Chandler Hutchison at No. 22

Chandler Hutchison abruptly cancelled his NBA Combine trip a month ago because of a promise given to him by a team in the 20s.

And the Bulls fulfilled that reported promise on Thursday night by taking Hutchison with the 22nd overall pick.

Hutchison, a senior, came on strong in his final two seasons with Boise State, and as a senior averaged 20.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 31.0 minutes. He shot nearly 48 percent from the field, shot a respectable 36 percent from 3-point range and averaged 1.5 steals.

The pick comes after the Bulls opted for the safe route and Duke center Wendell Carter with the 7th pick.

The Bulls were in desparate need of versatility on the wing and they get it in Hutchison, who projects as someone who can play both forward positions.