Butler set to win Most Improved honor

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K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune

6:58 pm, May 6, 2015

CLEVELAND — On the off day between Games 1 and 2, Jimmy Butler laughed off a question about reaching superstar status. For now, Most Improved Player will have to do.

The NBA will announce Butler as the 2014-15 recipient on Thursday, two sources said, the first winner in franchise history. Current Bulls guard Aaron Brooks earned the honor with the Rockets after the 2009-10 season.

Butler’s huge jump this season featured his scoring average rising from 13.1 to 20 points, his shooting improving from 39.7 to 46.2 percent, his rebounding jumping from 4.9 to 5.8 and his assists moving from 2.6 to 3.3 per game.

“I don’t worry about what people say,” Butler said when asked about the superstar label, not the award. “I control what I can. I guess I’ve gained a lot of respect around the league. I’m not going to knock that. But I think superstar is a push.”

Derrick Rose stayed to form in downplaying his own superstar status, laughing when asked if perhaps winning most valuable player in 2011 changed his mind. But he’s a good voice on the subject, having moved from Rookie of the Year to All-Star to MVP to superstar.

Butler earned his first All-Star appearance this season.

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