Although the Chicago Bulls went 1-4 in Las Vegas summer league play, their is something positive to take out of it, and that is the play of 2nd year player Jimmy Butler, and the undrafted Malcolm Thomas. Thomas and Butler were 2 of 11 players named to the 2012 All-Summer League Team. Here’s how they got there:
Butler played in 4 of the 5 games, sitting out the finale with an undisclosed minor injury. Through 4 games, Jimmy Butler shined averaging 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. Saying he was aggressive is an understatement, as Butler got to the line 39 times, connecting on 35 of those attempts (89.7%). To say he was the most valuable player on the team is an understatement. He was surrounded by inexperience, the only NBA player on the team (aside from Teague who struggled mightily), though he kept the Bulls in every game. Case in point: When Butler sat in the final game on Sunday vs Milwaukee, his Bulls lost bad, 113-68. His worth ethic shined and I expect him to be a big part of what the Bulls do in the upcoming season.
The Bulls came into this summer league with all eyes on Marquis Teague and Jimmy Butler. That quickly changed after Malcolm Thomas notched 4 straight double doubles, exerting a relentless motor on both ends of the floor. He pulled down 16 rebounds in back to back games. He was the only player in the Las Vegas Summer League to average a double double: 11.4 ponts and 12.4 rebounds. He showed versatility and ability to either calmly stroke the mid-range jumper or boldly posterize a victim on the opposing team. He’s slightly undersized, but makes up for it with insane athletic ability and an exceptional quickness to the ball for the rebound. His eye-opening performance should have guaranteed him a training camp invitation, he earned it. UPDATE: CSN Chicago confirms, Bulls are attempting to sign Thomas to a 1-year deal.
Complete list of the 2012 All-Summer League Team:
Malcolm Thomas – Chicago Bulls Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards Tobias Harris – Milwaukee Bucks John Henson – Milwaukee Bucks Jeremy Lamb – Houston Rockets Dominique Jones – Dallas Mavericks Cory Joseph – San Antonio Spurs Jimmy Butler – Chicago Bulls Kemba Walker – Charlotte Bobcats Donatas Motiejunas – Houston Rockets Jae Crowder – Dallas Mavericks