Is Jimmy Butler a Top 10 Player?
Whether or not the Miami Heat loses to the Los Angeles Lakers, Jimmy Butler has done the unthinkable this season. He has led a young and what many thought to be somewhat rebuilding Heat squad all the way to the NBA Finals. A place almost no one thought this team would be in the beginning. In fact, the Heat even had 60 to one odds at one point to win the championship. Not to mention, Butler finally helped the Heat get their first win over the Lakers where he put up a 40 point triple-double. With all of this in mind, is Butler finally cemented as a top 10 player in the league? Let’s take a look.
Is Jimmy Butler a Top 10 Player?
Butler’s Case for Top 10
The general consensus is that Butler is not a top-five player, at least as of yet. However, when it comes to the top 10, he has a legitimate argument. It is becoming more and more clear that both Minnesota and Philadelphia made a mistake not bringing back the two-way star. Despite the soured relationship with Minnesota, the fact remains that Minnesota was insanely better with Jimmy Butler than without him. Also, one could make the argument that if Kawhi Leonard‘s infamous game-winning shot did not go in, Butler very well could have led the 76ers to a Finals appearance. As great as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are, it was clear that Butler was being groomed to be the top dog for Philadelphia during their postseason run.
Not to mention, Butler’s numbers and accomplishments are also impressive. He is a five-time All-Star, has been an All-NBA Team member three times, and won the Most Improved Player of the Year Award. He also has made the All-Defensive Team four times throughout his career. This season alone, Butler has averaged 19.9 points, 1.8 steals, 6.0 assists per game, with an effective field goal percentage of 47.4 percent.
Other Stars He’s Competing With
Now, while Butler has a great case for being considered a top 10 NBA player, there are still a few players who also have a case for being in the six to 10 range. Damian Lillard is going to get some serious consideration for many top 10 lists next season for his improbable Bubble run where he basically willed the Portland Trail Blazers to the final spot in the Western Conference playoff picture. Not to mention, Klay Thompson will be returning to the floor next season after rehabbing his knee all year long.
Paul George is getting a lot of flack for his performance in the postseason, however, some fans may still try to make a case for picking him over Jimmy Buckets. Finally, Kyrie Irving will also be back healthy after missing the final part of the season this year and is coming off a season where he recorded the highest scoring average of his career. With these names having cases for the top 10, it will be interesting to see the general consensus of where Butler ranks after the NBA Finals.
Whether Miami loses the Finals or not, Butler should be ranked around the seventh or eighth spot on the top 10 list. With his leadership ability and knack for inspiring this young, hungry Miami squad, Butler’s hard work has more than paid off. The Heat has made it known they are going to be around for a long time. Jimmy Butler is a big part of their success. Not only does Jimmy have the numbers to back it up, but he is also not afraid of anyone whether it be LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, or Kevin Durant. All in all, it is hard to leave Butler out of the top 10 right now.