Jimmy Butler, a three-time NBA All-Star, is an exceptional two-way player. Offensively, he can make shots from anywhere reasonable on the court. Defensively, he can slow down the opposing teams best guard or small forward. Nowadays having the whole package is what separates the good from the great players. Butler’s skillset results in him having the potential to be in the latter group.
In 2016, Butler played a role in the USA basketball team when they won the gold medal at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Butler was on an upward trajectory even before his stint with the USA team in terms of playing ability. The experience no doubt accelerated the command he has of his skillset. Butler is still on the same trajectory.
Recently, Butler played a pivotal role in a game versus the Utah Jazz. Several Minnesota Timberwolves players had standout performances. What stood out about Butler was his ability to score at will and setup his teammates with timely assists. This particular game sums up the skillset of Butler when he is firing on all cylinders.
Butler was not always on this type of trajectory. Around 15 years ago, Butler was homeless and parentless at the age of 13. Under these conditions, many would most likely find the difficulty to be insurmountable. Fortunately, Butler was able to overcome these factors. He eventually found a new home and support system. He went on to play for a community college called Tyler Junior College. After one year he transferred to Marquette University. So, Butler’s unconventional background surely provides him a unique perspective in comparison with many other players.
Also, Butler does not have any notable leadership moments with the Timberwolves given his brief time there. The Timberwolves are on pace to end the current playoff drought. The timing could not have been better for Butler. He has very capable teammates in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Overall, the future looks very bright for the Timberwolves.
The team making the playoffs would bode well for Butler. When people conduct an analysis of Butler, they will likely consider whether he won an NBA championship. Some may consider this approach to be unfair because basketball is a team sport. However, material success in the playoffs helps differentiate one player from another when there is stiff competition. Butler is 28 years old and in the middle of his prime playing years. The window for the Timberwolves to make their mark will not always be open.
In the end, Butler now has another new home and time will tell if his trajectory continues to be upward. No matter the outcome many will consider Butler to be a winner in the game called life. In the meantime, Butler and his teammates will try to close the gap between the top teams and the Timberwolves.
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