CHICAGO — The Bulls haven’t added any free agents yet, but they have broke out the checkbook and signed someone. The Bulls announced yesterday that they have signed rookie first round draft pick Jimmy Butler.
Butler was the Bulls draft choice this year and he comes in highly touted in some circles out of Marquette. Butler played all four years of college ball there and fits the mental manta Tom Thibodeau has installed in Chicago. Butler is smart, dedicated and ready to win. In fact, winning is all he’s ever wanted to do.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do was win,” Butler said. “In high school, we didn’t get to make the playoffs, so all I wanted to do was win. In junior college we were highly-ranked, but we didn’t even make the national tournament. At Marquette, we went further and further in the tournament, but all I wanted to do was win. At the end of the day, that’s all. Coming in and knowing that the fans, our team, our coaches want to win a championship, that’s all that matters to me.”
Butler was drafted for his defensive ability but he also harnesses the potential to be an off the bench scorer as well. Butler knows he’s entering into uncharted waters when it comes to playing in Chicago where the expectations are sky high this season.
“I know it’s going to be tough. I haven’t played this many games in a season before. I have to get my body ready for that.”
Butler also faces a problem many NFL rookies faced this year with their shortened offseason. Butler is coming into a complex system and has only until Christmas to learn everything. But that’s not keeping the newest Bulls down.
“I’m not going back to Marquette,” Butler said. “I have no idea what I’m getting myself into right now. All I can do is ask [Marquette alums] Wesley Matthews and Steve Novak and [Bulls teammate] D-Rose, and those guys keep me on par with what I need to know to get off to a good start.”
The Bulls continued camp today at the Berta Center with Butler and 10 other players.