The NBA named Jimmy Butler as Most Improved Player Thursday morning, as the guard was a runaway winner of the award in his breakout season for the Bulls.
Butler received 92 of 129 first-place votes and 535 total points from sportswriters and broadcasters, more total points than the two runners-up, Golden State's Draymond Green and Utah's Rudy Gobert, who combined for 389 points.
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Butler led the Bulls in scoring with 20 points per game, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals. Butler's scoring and production has increased in every season since being drafted in 2011, and his 6.9-point increase in scoring average was the best in the NBA this season.
After word began to break early in Game 2 of the Bulls-Cavaliers series, Butler was too upset with himself to reflect on the award.
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"Not too much right now. I’m focused on helping this ballclub win some games," Butler said. "I want to win this series, I want to win a championship. At the end of the season, maybe this Most Improved Player Award will mean a lot more."
Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine has had a great and busy offseason. He had some grueling workouts with his father, supported his teammates during NBA Summer League and even took some batting practice with former NL MVP Kris Bryant. But the best part of LaVine’s busy offseason was a very, very cool gift from his parents.
LaVine’s mom and dad gifted him a 1968 Pontiac LeMans, a rare and very collectible vehicle.
Bulls fans were first exposed to LaVine’s love of classic cars last season when he discussed his infatuation with the stable of classic vehicles owned by Jabari Parker.
With his ‘68 Pontiac LeMans now in tow, LaVine is well on his way to amassing his own impressive collection. He has a reputation in league circles for being an extremely hard worker already but there is no doubt that this awesome gift from his parents will serve as a little extra motivation as the 2019-20 season nears.
On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski and Kevin Anderson are joined by SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell
0:50 Ricky on his Top 11 players from NBA Summer League story and why Coby White was 11th
2:45 Realistic expectations for White next season
3:40 Will Kris Dunn be on opening night roster?
4:55 Mark disagrees with Ricky on where White will be in the rotation
7:10 On Chandler Hutchison and his role
9:50 Could LaVine see minutes at the small forward spot?
11:00 On Daniel Gafford and his summer league performance
15:20 On Bulls 2019-20 win total over/under at 30.5
16:55 Which team in the East can the Bulls overtake and make the playoffs?
22:00 Going over the western conference and which teams have realistic championship potential
Editor’s note: Kevin stated he thinks Portland has the best healthy backcourt in the NBA right now completely forgetting about Russ and Harden. He regrets the error.
29:30 The short list of contenders in the East
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: