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Chicago Bulls' forward Jimmy Butler ready to become defensive stopper

Second-year swingman Jimmy Butler is happy with his role as a defensive specialist for the Chicago Bulls, but hopes to also showcase his scoring ability while backing up Luol Deng.

Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Chicago Bulls' swingman Jimmy Butler doesn't get much playing time as a second-year reserve behind established starting small forward Luol Deng, but he has proven to be a valuable situational defender for head coach Tom Thibodeau, reports Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago.

In Chicago's season opening win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night, Thibodeau used Butler to try and slow down Tyreke Evans, the Kings' top scorer. After averaging 8.5 minutes in 42 games played in his rookie season, Butler had an excellent offseason and is now averaging 14 minutes in two games this season and appears to have solidified himself as Deng's primary backup.

Though not surprising, Butler was nonetheless excited recently when the Bulls picked up his third-year option. Not unhappy with his role as a defensive specialist, he wants to prove he's more versatile and showcase his offensive skills in his second year in the league.

Butler has averaged 2.8 points and 1.4 rebounds thus far in his career.