Although ranking the top 30 NBA players in today’s game is an incredibly difficult task, The Last Word on Pro Basketball staff has taken it on. Coming in at number 14 in the countdown is Miami Heat guard Jimmy Butler.
Top 30 NBA Players
Number 14 – Jimmy Butler
When Butler first entered the league back in 2011, very few expected him to evolve into the dominant player he is today. For the first couple of seasons of his career, Butler played the majority of his minutes off the bench. It wasn’t until 2013 when he finally cracked his way into the Chicago Bulls starting lineup and showed the potential to be great. Over the past five seasons, Butler has solidified himself as one of the NBA’s truly elite players. He’s had some drama in the past with the Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves but seems to have finally found his place with the Heat.
Butler is currently averaging 20.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game on the season and was named to the fifth All-Star team of his career. His stellar play currently has the Heat sitting comfortably at the fourth seed in the east.
Butler epitomizes what it means to be a two-way player in today’s NBA. He possesses the ability to go off on offense while locking down his opponents at the same time. He is one of the best at finishing shots in the paint for a player at his position. Even when he is unable to finish, there are very few better at drawing fouls than Butler. While he isn’t elite shooting the ball, he has a very reliable mid-range game and will make defenders pay if left open. Butler is also one of the most clutch players in the league. He consistently drains big-time shots and draws key fouls from defenders.
Defensively Butler is as tough as they come. He uses a solid blend of technique, athleticism, and physicality to lock down his opponents. At 6’6″ Butler isn’t the biggest player, but he still possesses the ability to defend players of all sizes.
Butler is willing to be a team player when his team works as hard as him. He got a bad reputation for being a ball hog, but he has stated before that he is willing to share if his teammates have the same desire to win. This has been extremely evident this season as Butler is averaging a career-high 6.1 assists per game. He is willing to do whatever it takes to win.
Defensively there are virtually no weaknesses in Jimmy Butler’s game. He is a physical lock-down defender. Offensively he does have some flaws that he needs to fix. Throughout his career, he has struggled to maintain consistency shooting from beyond the arc. This is incredibly evident this season as he is shooting a lackluster 24.8 percent from deep. While this season is an outlier, he has never been very consistent in that facet of his game.
Jimmy Butler Career Accolades
Over his nine-year NBA career, Butler has attained some pretty impressive accolades. He was mainly a rotational player up until 2015 where he became the star of the Bulls and was named to his first All-Star team. He was also named the NBA’s Most Improved Player for his efforts on the season. Since that season he has been named to five different NBA All-Star teams.
His effort on the defensive end hasn’t gone unnoticed as he was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team four times in his career. This paired with his offensive skill set helped him land on the All-NBA Third Team twice. His elite level of play will have him in the running for multiple awards again at the conclusion of this season.
Last Word on Pro Basketball Top 30 NBA Players Ballots
We believe in full transparency in the top 30 NBA player rankings so we are going to disclose the ballots of our player rankings and where each contributor had each player ranked.
Tyler Marling – Site Manager – 16
Chase Gage – Managing Editor – 14
David Knight – Marketing Manager – 14
Zack Kircher – Associate Editor – 14
Matthew Waldman – Associate Editor – 14
David Ward – Author – 11
Avinash Chauhan – Contributor – 14
Adam Zigner – Contributor – 11
Albert Dadson – Contributor – 15
Dylan Guest – Contributor – 16
Raheem Bashir – Contributor – 16
Nathan Levine – Contributor – 18
Bill Huan – Contributor – 15
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